Billionaire Financier Ron Perelman Boosts Stake in Scientific Games, Sparks Massive Rally in Stock

Posted on: September 23, 2019, 12:30h. 

Last updated on: September 23, 2019, 12:50h.

Scientific Games Corp. (NASDAQ:SGMS) chairman Ron Perelman, the corporate raider with stakes in over a dozen private and public companies, boosted his position last week in the maker of gaming devices , bringing his ownership of the company to 39 percent.

Investment mogul Ron Perelman upped his stake in Scientific Games last week. (Image: NY Post)

Early last week, Perelman purchased 110,000 SG shares for $2.2 million and followed that up with a buy of 120,000 shares valued at $2.4 million two days later, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

After surging in January and February, SG stock spent the following six months steadily declining, as Wall Street fretted about the company’s debt burden, which stood at $8.65 billion at the end of the second quarter. That’s more than quadruple the gaming machine maker’s $2.15 billion market value as of Monday, Sept. 23.

There have been some bullish catalysts emerging for Scientific Games this month, including expansion of its sports betting partnership with Caesars Entertainment, which adds the fast-growing Indiana market.

We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Caesars in the US. OpenSports is a great platform that’s shown rock solid performance, putting players at the heart of the betting experience,” said SG Digital CEO Jordan Levin in a statement released earlier this month.

Entering Monday, SG shares were up 25 percent on a month-to-date basis.

Dedicated To Scientific Games

Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, the investment vehicle for the financier’s various interests, initially acquired a stake of about 25.92 million Scientific Games’ common shares in early 2007. At that time, Perelman directly owned 3.8 million SG shares.

MacAndrews & Forbes and Perelman himself have steadily added to the SG positions this year, including some purchases of the stock in June. With last week’s buys, Perelman and his holding company own 36.38 million shares of Scientific Games, valued at approximately $730 million, as of Friday, Sept. 20.

SG is the only gaming-related company in the MacAndrews & Forbes portfolio, and one of just four publicly traded firms the fund currently has stakes in. Perelman’s investment firm also owns shares of cosmetics maker Revlon (NYSE:REV), consumer products companies, a manufacturer of armored military vehicles, and a payments processing firm, among other interests.

Other SG Catalysts

Last week, SG inked a deal with IMG Arena to provide real-time professional golf data to sports betting partners in the US and on a global basis.

Earlier this month, the company said it won an exclusive, 10-year sports betting pact in Turkey, and that it was selected to provide services and technology for that country’s national lottery. Those headlines sent SG shares higher by nearly seven percent in one day.

Turkey’s population is just over 80 million, providing a potentially lucrative betting base for Scientific Games.