A company owned by Ronald Perelman has agreed to pay $720,000 to settle U.S. Department of Justice charges over a stock purchase, the second time this month that the billionaire financier agreed to penalties to resolve civil charges by the federal government.
MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings agreed to make the payment to end an antitrust case over its failure to report its June 2012 purchase of more shares in Scientific Games Corp , which provides lottery and gaming services, despite passing an ownership threshold requiring such reporting, the Justice Department said.
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The accord follows an unrelated June 13 settlement in which Revlon Inc agreed to pay $850,000 to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it deceived shareholders and independent directors about a failed 2009 transaction with Perelman to take the cosmetics company private. MacAndrews & Forbes owns more than three-quarters of Revlon.
The latest settlement requires court approval.
In Thursday's case, the government said the purchase of Scientific Games shares required Perelman's firm under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino law to report its stake to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.
These agencies have powers to block mergers, and can demand notice when a shareholder is amassing a large stake in a company. MacAndrews & Forbes later made a corrective filing.
Christine Taylor, a MacAndrews & Forbes spokeswoman, called the failure to file a "technical and inadvertent mistake" that the company reported on its own and which involved no financial benefit. She said new safeguards are in place to avoid a repeat.
According to regulatory filings, Perelman owns roughly 38 percent of Scientific Games, whose market value was about $966 million as of Wednesday's close.
Forbes magazine in March estimated that Perelman, 70, was worth $12.2 billion, making him the world's 79th-richest person.
The case is U.S. v. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 13-00926.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Carol Bishopric)
(This story is refiled to corrects fourth paragraph to clarify that only Thursday's settlement, not an earlier Revlon settlement, requires court approval)