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Scientific Games buying WMS for about $1.42 billion

BetsMidwest service manager Bob Goodman (right) Elk Grove Village programs WMS video gaming machine with his sWill Goodman BertrBowling Lanes

Betson Midwest service manager Bob Goodman (right) of Elk Grove Village programs a WMS video gaming machine with his son, Will Goodman, at Bertrand Bowling Lanes in Waukegan. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 2, 2013 12:02PM

Instant-win lottery ticket company Scientific Games is buying Waukegan-based gaming equipment company WMS Industries Inc. for about $1.42 billion in order to broaden its product offerings.

Scientific Games Corp., which also makes video slot machines and other gaming systems, says it will pay $26 per WMS share. That’s a 59 percent premium to the company’s Wednesday closing price of $16.37.

In a statement Thursday, Scientific Games said the purchase will allow the company to offer “a complete portfolio” of lottery and gaming products. Scientif Games supplies lottery instant tickets, lottery and video gaming systems and server-based gaming. WMS makes gaming machines and interactive gaming content.

Scientific Games’ stock jumped more than 57 percent in premarket trading.

WMS currently has about 54.6 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.

The companies put the deal’s total value at approximately $1.5 billion, including $85 million in debt.

Scientific Games said the buyout is not subject to a financing condition and that it has committed financing.

Both companies’ boards unanimously approved the deal. The acquisition is expected to close by year’s end.

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