The waiting period for Scientific Games' (NASDAQ: SGMS ) acquisition of WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS ) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR) was terminated early, the companies announced yesterday, allowing the transaction to move to the next phase.
Scientific offered to buy WMS for $26 a share, or $1.5 billion, on Jan. 31. At the time, Scientific Games Chairman and CEO A. Lorne Weil said the purchase would be transformational for the lottery and gaming products and services company. "We expect to combine our game content, technology, operational capabilities, and respective geographic footprints to create an enterprise poised to capitalize on significant growth opportunities around the globe," Weil was quoted as saying.
The HSR requires merging companies to file detailed reports with the FTC and the Justice Department to see whether the combination violates antitrust laws. There is a 30-day waiting period (15 days for all-cash transactions) before the merger can be completed. The companies can request the waiting period be terminated early, which will be granted if both antitrust agencies complete their reviews and determine no enforcement action is necessary.
The acquisition still requires approval of WMS shareholders and receipt of required gaming approvals.