Sci Games closer to NYX acquisition after William Hill nod

Mae Love
December 8, 2017

Scientific Games made a decision to purchase NYX and the deal was estimated to cost as much as C$775 million which resulted in William Hill applying to converse its preference shares in NYX into ordinary shares. Philip Bowcock is the Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, and he stated that the arrangements are providing security to the technology roadmap of the company as well as the future relationship with NYX.

He recommended that other shareholders in NYX support that takeover bid. The ruling is expected to happen next year. The case was called in by the Supreme Court and heard on December 4 following attempts by New Jersey to regulate sports betting which commenced in 2014. If the regulation is voted, it could give each state the individual power to regulate sports betting on their territory. A small number of states have grandfathered rights because they had regulated sports betting to varying degrees prior to PASPA.

As the quote from Bowcock alludes to, all three of the companies above have their sights firmly set on the potential U.S. market for sports betting. Given that the SciGames offer already represented a significant premium over NYX's share price at the time the offer was made, scuttling the offer would have cost William Hill itself at least $50 million, and perhaps even more. Founded in 1934, it is the one of the UK's largest bookmakers with around 2,350 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries.

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Gibraltar-registered entity William Hill Steeplechase had said in a November 8 statement that the William Hill group controlled certain ordinary shares of NYX Gaming and convertible preference shares in a NYX Gaming subsidiary that would in aggregate give William Hill 31.9 percent of the NYX Gaming group's ordinary shares. William Hill Australia is one of the largest online betting businesses in Australia after the Group acquired Sportingbet and in 2013. NYX is one of the hottest software developers in the online market, offering its services and products to numerous industry's largest operators.

Through its own holdings and convertible options, William Hill controls roughly 32% of NYX Gaming's stock. The Group generates revenues of c£1.6bn a year.

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