Rekindled Partnership: Light & Wonder, SciPlay Join Forces Again

Sports Betting Update: Light & Wonder Reunites with SciPlay in Exciting Deal

Published on: August 8, 2023, 03:58h. Last updated on: August 8, 2023, 03:58h.

Light & Wonder (NASDAQ: LNW) recently announced its reunion with SciPlay (NASDAQ: SCPL), a leading social casino developer that was spun off from Light & Wonder in 2019.

Light & Wonder
Light & Wonder CEO Matt Wilson. The company is acquiring the 17% of SciPlay it doesn’t already own. (Image: LinkedIn)

Light & Wonder has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining 17% of SciPlay through an all-cash deal valued at $22.95 per share. This represents a premium of 16.7% over SciPlay’s current closing price of $19.65.

“Our combined balance sheets will provide us with the flexibility to further invest in developing and launching great games cross-platform and deliver enhanced returns to shareholders,” said Light & Wonder CEO Matt Wilson.

“We look forward to bringing our world-class teams together and are excited to innovate and grow as one unified company for the benefit of our employees, players and shareholders.”

The transaction has been approved by Light & Wonder’s board and a special committee of SciPlay’s independent directors, who believe it is in the best interest of investors.

Light & Wonder and SciPlay: Reunited and Thriving

The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter, marking the end of an interesting journey for both gaming companies.

In July 2021, Scientific Games made an offer to acquire the 19% of SciPlay it did not already own, but the deal fell through. Months later, activist investor Engine Capital urged SciPlay to consider selling itself to its former parent. Engine Capital estimated the social casino company to be worth $15 to $16 a share.

With Light & Wonder currently owning 83% of the outstanding equity and 98% of the voting interest in SciPlay, the options for the social casino developer were limited when it came to selling itself.

Some of SciPlay’s popular offerings include Jackpot Party, Quick Hit Slots, Gold Fish Casino Slots, Hot Shot Casino, 88 Fortunes, Bingo Showdown, and Monopoly Slots.

SciPlay’s Impressive Growth

The acquisition of SciPlay presents Light & Wonder with an opportunity for further growth, as evidenced by SciPlay’s strong second-quarter financial results.

“SciPlay continued to perform at a high level in the second quarter of 2023, illustrating the quality of our earnings, cash flows and sustainable growth. We continue to outperform the social casino market, posting our sixth consecutive quarter of over-performance and driving the competitive lead we’ve established in the space,” said Interim CFO Daniel O’Quinn.

During the June quarter, SciPlay’s revenue increased by 18%, while net income rose by 28% year-over-year. The company’s cash on hand also saw a significant increase.

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