“We believe our leadership and our tenured position is clearly an advantage for us,” he said during the operator’s Q3 2023 earnings call.
Sandusky also pointed to the business’ comfortable financial position as placing it on a firm footing to renew the tender.
“Certainly, its capital structure is the best ever,” he said. “It has got the lowest leverage level ever. So, the company has a lot of flexibility to be able to think about and determine the best pathway forward.”
The CEO made the remarks following rumours that Flutter Entertainment-owned Italian operator Sisal intends to make a competitive bid on the Italian national lottery contract.
At present, an IGT-led consortium is the exclusive concessionaire for lotto and instant win products through its Lotterie Nazionali and Lotto Italia subsidiaries.
Renewed in 2016 for nine-years, the contract is up for grabs again in 2025.Sadusky’s comments have so far failed to reassure the markets.
The company’s share price has slumped following the news of a potential rival bid from Sisal, falling close to 15% over the past five days to $25.42.
“Ultimately, we’ll see what the competition is,” said the exec.
Update on strategic review
When questioned about the status of the ongoing strategic review of IGT’s Global Gaming and PlayDigital divisions, Sandusky emphasised that the company was focused on growth.
“Fortunately, that’s gone very well,” he said. “The market continues to be good from an industry perspective.”
Announced in June, the company is exploring a range of possible outcomes for the online subsidiaries including a sale, spin-off, merger or further investment.
“We think there’s always a market for assets that are high quality,” he said. “There’s not a lot of high-quality assets in the marketplace. And the capital markets are open.”
However, the CEO made no promises in either direction, highlighting that sticking with the current set-up was still a valid option.
“We’ll go through the process, and we’ll make a determination ultimately as to what we think is the best alternative for our sole goal, which is to maximise shareholder value,” he added.