The sale of West Greenwich-based GTECH Holdings Corp. to Italian lottery giant Lottomatica SpA this week inched toward completion.
Lottomatica said that the state lotteries would continue existing contracts with GTECH, which it plans to buy in a $5 billion deal that would create the world's biggest lottery operator.
Lottomatica had asked various U.S. states to confirm that the deal would not hurt existing lottery concessions when it launched the takeover earlier this year.
Most states asked auditing firms to carry out background checks, but Texas asked police to investigate and there, concerns have been voiced over GTECH concession contracts in Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic and Trinidad-Tobago.
Tuesday, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GTECH reported that "the Texas Lottery Commission would not take any action ... in connection with the merger." Investors had worried that the report and potential action by the Texas lottery commission could hinder the takeover.
Wednesday, at a public forum in Providence, Rhode Island investigators announced similar findings. "The State Investigative Team has uncovered no information ... that under Rhode Island law or regulations would warrant the Rhode Island Lottery withholding its consent for the proposed transaction," declared the July 25 report of a team led by the Providence law firm of Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels.
(Rhode Island's full, 147-page due diligence report can be found online at www.rilot.com.)
Thursday, Lottomatica announced the Missouri Lottery had given its approval the day before, and said it would not cancel existing contracts. Similar approvals had already been granted by the U.K. and California lotteries, the company said. The New York Lottery also has given tentative approval, the Lottomatica statement said, assuming that state's attorney general raises no objections to the merger.
The $4.8-billion deal, under consideration now for half a year, was approved by GTECH stockholders at a special meeting last month.