Posted on: April 29, 2022, 01:54h.
Last updated on: April 29, 2022, 02:14h.
Light & Wonder’s name change is legally official, and the slot machine manufacturer’s shares now trade under the ticker “LNW” on the Nasdaq.
The company previously known as Scientific Games announced the rebranding in early March, and almost immediately began using the Light & Wonder name while temporarily retaining the stock ticker of “SGMS.” As of today, Scientific Games and SGMS are no more.
The Light & Wonder name and branding reflects the Company’s strategic vision to become the leading cross-platform global game company focused on creating and launching great games fully cross-platform, leveraging our leading platforms and solutions to enable a seamless player experience,” according to a statement issued by the company.
On a miserable day for broader equity benchmarks, shares of Light & Wonder slipped more than 3% on the company’s first day with the new ticker.
Rebranding Follows SG Lottery Sale
The company’s transformation to Light & Wonder was spurred in part by the sale of its SG Lottery unit to Brookfield Business Partners LP (NYSE:BBU) for $6.05 billion last October.
While that transaction resulted in the departure of a cash-generating, profitable business, it sets the stage for the company to focus on its land-based gaming opportunities, as well as fast-growing markets, such as online and social casinos.
“Through a deliberate cross-platform approach, Light & Wonder delivers a leading portfolio of iconic games and franchises across online and mobile, and in both real money and free-to-play social gaming markets, as well as in land-based casinos,” adds the Las Vegas-based company.
Light & Wonder Debt Savings Plan Paying Off
Light & Wonder’s aforementioned sale of SG Lottery and the divestment of its OpenBet sports wagering technology unit are transactions aimed not only at honing the company’s focus on digital opportunities, but firming its balance sheet as well.
Data confirms that effort is paying dividends. Earlier this month, the gaming company said its outstanding debt is $4 billion, down sharply from $8.8 billion at the end of last year. Its net leverage is 3.9x, which is close to the desired range of 2.5x to 3.5x.
“The company retired its existing $4.0 billion term loan and redeemed $3.0 billion of its secured and unsecured notes using proceeds from the divestiture of the Lottery Business and a new $2.2 billion term loan facility,” according to a statement. “In conjunction with the new term loan, the company also entered into a new $750 million revolving credit facility.”
Fitch Ratings placed a junk grade of “BB” on Light & Wonder. The firm will likely need to drive leverage below 3x to attain a credit upgrade. Higher credit ratings mean a company can issue debt with lower interest rates.