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Ronald Perelman considering sale of entire 39pct stake in Sci Games

Scientific Games Corp chairman Ronald Perelman is considering a possible sale of his entire stake in the casino and lottery services supplier, according to a Wednesday filing by Scientific Games with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr Perelman is the largest shareholder in the Las Vegas-based company.

The executive controls – via direct and indirect holdings, including MacAndrews & Forbes Inc – nearly 39 percent of the firm’s common shares.

According to the filing, Mr Perelman has “determined to explore a possible sale” of the stake he currently holds in Scientific Games. The statement said that the executive has “not formulated any specific or definitive plan or proposal” for the sale, and “there can be no assurance that any transaction will occur or as to the terms of any such transaction.”

Mr Perelman, 77, is ranked number 211 globally in Forbes’ “World’s Billionaires List 2020”, with a net worth estimated at US$7.5 billion as of July 15. The financier has a diverse array of holdings, including gaming, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

A spokesperson for MacAndrews & Forbes told Bloomberg that Mr Perelman was looking to rework his holdings amid the impact on business from the Covid-19 pandemic, including the divestment of certain assets.

“Due to changes in the world both socially and economically, we have decided to reset MacAndrews & Forbes in a manner that will give us maximum flexibility both financially and personally,” the person said in a statement to the media outlet. “This will allow us to be opportunistic and flexible in looking at new situations.”

As the firm’s largest shareholder and chairman, Mr Perelman oversaw Scientific Games’ rapid expansion as a gaming equipment provider.

Scientific Games, originally a specialist in lottery equipment and management, announcement in January 2013 that it was buying Chicago-based slot machine maker WMS Industries Inc for nearly US$1.5 billion. In November 2014, Scientific Games acquired slot machine and floor management systems specialist Bally Technologies in a transaction valued at US$5.1 billion.

Scientific Games said in May that its first-quarter net loss widened to US$159 million, from US$24 million a year earlier. The company said the quarterly results had been “negatively impacted by the Covid-19 disruptions”.