UPDATE 1-Perelman company reaches another settlement with US gov't

Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:00pm EDT

* MacAndrews & Forbes pays $720,000 civil fine in DOJ accord

* U.S.: Reporting rules were violated over stock purchase

* Perelman's company says mistake was inadvertent, technical

By Jonathan Stempel

June 20 (Reuters) - A company owned by Ronald Perelman has agreed to pay $720,000 to settle U.S. Department of Justice charges relating to 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, after passing an ownership threshold requiring such reporting, the Justice Department said.

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.

Perelman was not charged in either case. 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 in a filing to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

This purchase came a few months after the end of a five-year window in which MacAndrews & Forbes could buy Scientific Games shares without making a new filing. It made a corrective filing after learning that a filing had been needed.

The Justice Department and FTC have powers to block mergers, and can demand notice when a shareholder amasses a large stake in a company.

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.

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