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Scientific Games, William Hill End Dispute

Scientific Games, William Hill End Dispute

Scientific Games has ended its dispute with British bookmaker William Hill over the pending acquisition by SGMS of sports-betting platform supplier NYX Gaming. And another large shareholder of NYX, SkyBet, also came on board in favor of the buyout.

According to Fantini Research, Scientific Games has agreed to buy William Hill’s 9.301 million shares in NYX for C$2.40 per share, and WMH’s convertible NYX preference shares for £87 million.

Scientific Games also announced that it has entered into a new commercial arrangement with William Hill, and that the parties, as well as NYX, have entered into a separate settlement agreement in which the parties have agreed to end all existing litigation among the parties.

The move ends what was a series of moves and counter-moves as William Hill tried to block the acquisition of NYX by Scientific Games ahead of an NYX shareholder vote on the merger. The bookmaker wanted to prevent the merger because NYX’s OpenBet subsidiary, which was working on a platform for WMH, would have become a competitor after the merger was complete.

After SGMS initiated a program of directly buying NYX stock to effect the merger despite WMH’s efforts, William Hill sued to convert its £80 million in preferred shares that it received from backing NYX’s acquisition of OpenBet into equity in NYX, which would have given the bookmaker a 31.9 percent stake in NYX, enough to block the merger, which requires 75 percent shareholder approval.

Under the new agreement, WMH unconditionally supports the SGMS and NYX merger, and is recommending shareholders do the same.

With the approval of Sky Betting & Gaming (SkyBet), Scientific Games increased its leverage toward the sale. The company will pay C$2.40 per ordinary share for SkyBet’s 1,648,000 ordinary shares of NYX, 412,000 warrants, and 37,400 convertible preference shares of a subsidiary of NYX.

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