Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is nearing a deal to pay just under US$6 billion for Scientific Games Corp.’s global lotteries business, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Brookfield Business Partners LP, an affiliate of the Canadian firm, could announce a deal as soon as Wednesday for SG Lottery, said the people who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. 

Representatives for Brookfield and Scientific Games declined to comment.

The transaction caps months of speculation around how Las Vegas-based Scientific Games would unload its lottery arm, which helps handle lottery games in more than 50 countries, according to its website. The company said in June that it would explore divesting its lotteries and sports-betting units as part of a plan to reign in debt. Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. agreed in September to pay US$1.2 billion for its betting business. 

The lotto business had drawn interest from suitors including Apollo Global Management Inc., Bloomberg News reported this month. Scientific Games also considered taking it public in Australia. 

It is pursuing a sale to Brookfield because of the premium valuation the firm is offering as well as the speed and certainty of proceeds the deal will deliver, the people said. It will also allow the company to pay down debt and invest in growth, the people added. 

Scientific Games rose 0.8 per cent to close at US$89.09 in New York on Wednesday, giving the company a market value of about US$8.6 billion. The stock rose more than 6 per cent in after-market trading. 

Brookfield, which is based in Toronto, is one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world with more than US$625 billion in assets under management and operations in 30 countries around the world, according to its website.

Scientific Games has said it wants to focus on becoming a leading cross-platform global gaming company.