Ainsworth Shareholders Approve Majority Stake Sale
Shareholders of Australian pokies machines manufacturer, Ainsworth Game Technology (AGT), have approved the sale of the company’s founder, Len Ainsworth’s 52.2 percent stake to Austrian gaming company, Novomatic.
The proposal for the sale was announced in February and a protracted process has been underway after Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, as well as the investment firm Fortress Centaurus Global Master Fund Ltd, filed separate applications to Australia’s takeover panel to investigate the proposal.
At a General Meeting held on Monday, 45 million votes were cast in favour of the sale, representing 62.06 percent of shareholders, while 27.5 million voted against and 54,388 abstained. Neither Ainsworth’s wife or son, who are both minority shareholders, were eligible to vote.The sale can now progress.
“Novomatic is a highly respected and impressive industry leader,” said Danny Gladstone, chief executive of AGT. “We look forward to progressing this relationship with a view to delivering the significant expected benefits that have been outlined and execute on our international growth strategy.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Novomatic will supply intellectual property and game development to AGT and they will work together on marketing and global expansion.
“Through Novomatic’s majority shareholding, Ainsworth Game will benefit from collaboration across a range of markets that will be substantially positive for long term shareholder wealth creation,” stated Harald Neumann, chief executive of Novomatic. “We value the trust and support by the minority shareholders through the positive vote of approving the share transaction and will make every effort to meet their expectations.”
Novomatic will pay almost A$500 million for the 52.2 percent stake in the company. The current board and executive management team of AGT will remain in place and Novomatic will appoint additional directors.
March 27, 2017