Scientific Games snaps up more shares of NYX

Updated November 24, 2017 - 4:02 pm

Gaming equipment manufacturer Scientific Games Corp. has invested an additional $69 million in NYX Gaming Group Ltd. and a subsidiary to bolster an attempted takeover bid should a Dec. 20 shareholder vote fail to approve the Las Vegas company’s $631 million acquisition of NYX.

Scientific announced just after midnight Eastern Standard Time Thursday that it has purchased 27.4 million shares of NYX stock, 3.5 million warrants to purchase additional shares and 40,000 preferred shares of NYX Digital Gaming Canada, a NYX subsidiary, which can be converted to 9.2 million ordinary shares.

Scientific announced Tuesday that it had purchased $21.3 million in shares.

NYX, a Toronto company with corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, has developed the OpenBet sports wagering platform used by the William Hill Group, a Gibraltar-based company that has a dominant position in the Nevada sportsbook industry. Scientific wants to enter the sports-betting business with the potential of legalized nationwide sports wagering looming in the United States next year.

William Hill, also a NYX shareholder, wants to block the acquisition unless it can receive assurances from Scientific on use of the OpenBet system. Scientific views the demand for assurances as anticompetitive.

Scientific acquired its securities Friday from four NYX shareholders for $2.40 a share in Canadian currency.

If all the warrants are exercised and all of the preferred stock is converted to ordinary shares, Scientific would hold a 41 percent ownership position in the company, up from 10.7 percent prior to the transaction.

The purchase solidifies Scientific’s share position for a takeover bid if a shareholder vote next month fails to approve its acquisition of NYX, which was announced Sept. 20.

Scientific shares, trading near their 52-week high share price, closed down 0.6 percent, 30 cents a share, Friday to $51.70 in light trading.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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