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Takeover of WMS by Scientific Games approved

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has approved a takeover of slot machine provider WMS Industries by American gaming and lottery technology company Scientific Games.

The transaction, which was first announced in January and was approved by WMS shareholders in May, will be worth $1.5 billion (€1.14 billion).

The Nevada Gaming Commission is now expected to ratify the takeover on September 26.

According to Scientific Games chief executive officer Lorne Weil, the company will operate two separate divisions – for gaming and lotteries – following the merger. Weil added that the combined companies would generate $600 million in pre-tax earnings on a pro forma basis in 2013.

Scientific Games has also confirmed it intends to maintain and ultimately expand WMS’s 145-person sales and service workforce in Las Vegas.

“Our systems business is a real systems business, unlike some of the systems offered by WMS’ competitors,” Scientific Games chief financial officer Jeffrey Lipkin said.

Financier Ronald Perelman, Scientific Games’ largest shareholder with a 38% stake, described the deal as “fabulous” and added: “It will allow us to become a stronger player in the marketplace.”

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