GTech, the operator of Italy’s state lottery, and owner of the Spielo brand, has emerged as a front runner in the bid to buy International Game Technology.
The Italian company confirmed it was discussing a potential purchase stating it was holding ‘preliminary, exploratory discussions regarding a potential acquisition.’
It would use a combination of shares and cash, according to an Italian Exchange statement, although it added there was no guarantee the talks would lead to an agreement.
IGT’s shares increased by 11 per cent on June 13 in New York after reports of potential bidders included GTech, Apollo Global Management, Carlyle Group and MacAndrews & Forbes. MacAndrews owns close to 40 per cent of Scientific Games.
GTech employs 8,600 people and operates in 60 countries. Owned by Italian publisher De Agostini SpA, it reported revenue of about €3.1bn ($4.2bn), with net income of €175.4m in 2013.
IGT has issued a statement saying it is merely looking at a ‘broad range of strategic alternatives.’
“IGT regularly considers, and on occasion explores, a broad range of strategic alternatives, including but not limited to business combinations, changes to our capital structure and adjustments to our portfolio of businesses, with the goal of maximizing shareholder value,” the company stated. “The IGT Board of Directors and senior management are currently engaged in such an exploration, but no decisions have been made by the Board regarding any particular alternative available to the Company and there can be no assurances that any transaction or other strategic change will be entered into as a result of the current exploration of alternatives. IGT does not intend to discuss or disclose developments with respect to this general subject unless and until the Board has approved a definitive course of action.”