Midway plays offer; Redstone game

Stock move will dilute company shares by 20%

HOLLYWOOD — Midway Games is set to raise $82.3 million in a new stock offering Wednesday, a move that will have significant implications for Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, who has quietly bought up nearly half the company in recent months.

Though he has never talked about his plans for the company or any potential partnerships with Paramount or other Viacom properties, Redstone has on his own and through his company National Amusements bought more than 45% of the publisher as of April 5, according to SEC filings.

Holdings are worth more than $180 million at Midway’s most recent stock price and represent a significant buying spree during the winter. Exec only received approval to increase his holdings to more than $50 million in December, with further approval to break the $100 million barrier coming in March.

Midway, the publisher of games such as recent hits “The Suffering” and “NBA Ballers,” recently increased its first-quarter revenue guidance by 50% to $18 million, following a trend of generally strong Q1 performance for most vidgame publishers. Company said its net loss will be less than the $19 million previously estimated, but didn’t specify a new figure.

New stock offering will dilute Midway’s outstanding shares by approximately 20%, bringing Redstone’s holdings in the company down to about 36%, unless he purchases additional shares.

Midway shares closed down nearly 11% Tuesday at $7.25.

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