By Andy Young
Len Ainsworth, the majority shareholder in Ainsworth Game Technology (AGT) has announced that he intends to sell 100 per cent of his holding in the company to Austrian-based gaming technology company, Novomatic.
Ainsworth has agreed to sell his 172.1 million ordinary shares at $2.75 per share for cash consideration, subject to regulatory and licence approvals. The deal will see Ainsworth net in the region of $473 million. A small number of shares that remain subject to employee options under the Len Ainsworth Option Share Trust, will not be sold.
The deal is subject to a number of conditions including:
- Novomatic supports maintaining AGT’s listing on ASX and its current board and executive management teams staying in place with Novomatic intending to nominate additional directors (subject to regulatory approval);
- Mr Len Ainsworth will remain as chairperson; and
- Novomatic’s intention is to maintain its holding at or around that level.
Novomatic has also indicated that it supports AGT's strategy to build a larger, diversified and more profitable international game technology company. Novomatic plans to provide significant game development and other intellectual property to AGT and work with AGT on a global distribution and marketing strategy after completion.
Ainsworth said: “I’m pleased Novomatic, in agreeing to acquire my shareholding, has committed to Ainsworth and our international growth strategy. Novomatic is an impressive and highly respected market leader in our industry. It has a clear commitment to innovation and new product development, which aligns with AGT. With its strength and support, Ainsworth’s future is assured and our potential is increased. On behalf of the Board, management and employees I look forward to welcoming Novomatic to AGT and to working together to deliver our potential.”
The deal is still subject to shareholder approval, but each of AGT's directors intends to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.
Professor Johann Graf, founder of Novomatic said: “Ainsworth is iconic and we are delighted to become substantial shareholders in the company (if shareholder approval is granted). We support the Board and management’s strategy and look forward to assisting the Company as it continues to successfully build its international footprint and profile.”
AGT will convene an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders to seek the necessary approval, which will be held within three months.