Light & Wonder (L&W) is evaluating a potential secondary listing of its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
This would be in addition to the company’s existing primary Nasdaq listing in the US.
The move is part of the supplier’s efforts to enhance overall shareholder value and accelerate its strategic journey as a global leader, it said.
As part of the evaluation, the company will be consulting with its shareholders, it added.
L&W said its board of directors has considered a range of options and sees substantial potential benefits for the company and its shareholders in pursuing a secondary listing on the ASX.
Those benefits include enhancing the firm’s profile in Australia, one of the leading markets for its gaming business, and giving the company access to new long-term Australian institutional investors.
L&W executive chair Jamie Odell: “The ASX is a premium market with a long track record as a platform for global gaming companies and a deep and liquid pool of sophisticated investors and market participants who have a strong understanding of the gaming business.”
Jamie Odell, executive chair of L&W’s board of directors, commented: “The ASX is a premium market with a long track record as a platform for global gaming companies and a deep and liquid pool of sophisticated investors and market participants who have a strong understanding of the gaming business.
“We believe they will appreciate the value and long-term potential of L&W’s broad international business and strategy.
“We look forward to engaging with the market and our current shareholders on a potential secondary listing,” he added.
L&W intends to update the market only once its evaluation is complete and it has made a decision whether to proceed with an ASX secondary listing.
However, the company said there is no guarantee that it will decide to go ahead with the plans.
Not the first time
The potential secondary listing on the ASX would be a significant move for Light & Wonder as it seeks to expand its presence globally as a leading provider of cross-platform games and entertainment.
In Q4 2022, L&W reported double-digit growth across all lines of business, with an 18% year-on-year increase in revenue to $682m.
L&W has previously considered a potential secondary listing on the ASX.
The company, which was then operating as Scientific Games, engaged Australian investment bank Jarden Australia to evaluate the option almost two years ago.
Later, the company announced that it was contemplating an IPO for its SG Lottery unit in Australia.
That plan didn’t materialise, however, as L&W instead sold the lottery business, which is still known as Scientific Games, to private equity firm Brookfield.
The Las Vegas-headquartered supplier has significant connections to Australia.
Executive chair Odell is a highly respected gaming executive from Australia, and L&W’s president and CEO Matt Wilson is also Australian. Both used to work at rival supplier Aristocrat.
Odell was the CEO of Aristocrat Technologies from 2009 to 2017, while Wilson served as president and managing director of the Americas at Aristocrat before joining L&W in 2020.
Furthermore, L&W’s existing shareholder base in Australia includes one of its largest shareholders, Caledonia Investments, which currently holds 8.86% of shares in the business.
Light & Wonder has stopped searching for a new chief executive and appointed interim CEO Matt Wilson to the role on a permanent basis.
Wilson will also serve as president of the Vegas-based gaming supplier and will join the group’s board of directors, effective immediately.
His promotion comes just over a month after he was named interim CEO following the exit of predecessor Barry Cottle.
Wilson previously acted as CEO of Light & Wonder’s gaming business.
This role has now been taken over by Siobhan Lane, who has moved up the ranks from her position as SVP and CCO of gaming.
Jamie Odell, executive chair of the Light & Wonder board of directors, commented: “The board of directors unanimously determined that Matt is the right choice to lead Light & Wonder’s next chapter given his impressive track record, extensive industry experience and his pivotal role in transforming our business.”
He added: “Matt has demonstrated impressive leadership, strategic vision and a passion for our business. He fully embodies the Light & Wonder culture rooted in embracing innovation, a player-first mentality and a deep commitment to performing and winning as a team.
“The board is confident in Matt’s ability to unlock the full potential of Light & Wonder as we enter this exciting next chapter.”
Light & Wonder executive chair Jamie Odell: “Matt has demonstrated impressive leadership, strategic vision and a passion for our business. He fully embodies the Light & Wonder culture rooted in embracing innovation, a player-first mentality and a deep commitment to performing and winning as a team.”
A seasoned executive with nearly 20 years of gaming industry experience, Wilson led the strategic growth plans for the gaming team in his previous role, while overseeing product development, production, supply chain and sales of the company’s gaming products, systems and services.
Prior to joining Light & Wonder, he served as president and managing director of the Americas at Aristocrat.
“I am honoured that the board has put their trust in me to lead Light & Wonder as we work to capture the incredible opportunities ahead,” Wilson said.
“With a portfolio of unparalleled evergreen franchises, industry leading positions and unmatched platforms, combined with a strengthened balance sheet, we are well-positioned to drive substantial growth and shareholder value,” he added.
Lane, meanwhile, has overseen all aspects of Light & Wonder’s commercial gaming business, including product management, marketing as well as data and analytics, in her previous role.
In addition to her responsibilities as CCO, she led the North America region of gaming.
Commenting on Lane’s appointment, Wilson said: “Siobhan has played a pivotal role in helping me lead the gaming business since joining the Company in 2020, and her strong leadership and depth of experience have helped drive our success.”
He added that Lane has been critical to the company’s “efforts to reposition the business” and described her as “one of the most strategic and capable leaders” he had worked alongside.
Prior to joining Light & Wonder, Lane spent 12 years at Aristocrat Technologies in various roles, serving as senior vice president, marketing and gaming operations before leaving the company in 2019.
She has also recently been appointed vice president of the Global Gaming Women board of directors.