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US – Bally buys SHFL for $1.3bn

By - 17 July 2013

Las Vegas-based slot giant Bally Technologies is to buy SHFL entertainment, the Las Vegas company formerly known as Shuffle Master, in a US$1.3bn deal that will significantly improve Bally’s ‘reach in Australia’ and provide a ‘strengthened product offering in Asia.’

This, the third major gaming industry acquisition of the year, will need regulatory and SHFL shareholders approvals. The transaction, which was unanimously approved by both the Bally and SHFL Boards of Directors, combines two best-in-class, highly complementary and customer-centric gaming technology companies with a shared commitment to innovation to create a business offering a diversified suite of products.

Ramesh Srinivasan, Bally’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Both Bally and SHFL have long histories of proven innovation, excellent customer service and successfully anticipating and adapting to changes within our industry, which makes bringing our two companies together a great strategic fit. The transformational acquisition of SHFL – which joins two high-calibre, talented and creative teams – will further enhance our ability to deliver future growth and serve our customers. SHFL’s intellectual property, renowned brands and industry-leading suite of diverse, high-performance products will enable us to offer an unparalleled offering of gaming products and services, which – when combined with our content, technology, operational capabilities and respective geographic footprints – will provide the most comprehensive product portfolio offered around the world.”

As well as strengthening Bally in Asia and Australia, Bally said the acquisition of SHFL would complement its existing product portfolio while providing new access to the global land-based and online table games market and the growing e-Tables market, as well as enhancing its presence in key international markets, creating a leading end-to-end gaming technology company. The slot manufacturer said the deal would ‘substantially broaden the company’s product and service offerings while strengthening its core competencies, enabling Bally to provide customers an unparalleled suite of world-class gaming products for the entire casino floor.’

It would significantly ‘increase recurring revenues within several product areas, strengthen the company’s development infrastructure for land-based, online and mobile distribution channels, build on Bally’s strong team with the addition of best-in-class artistic and product development talent; and significantly enhance the company’s intellectual property and content portfolios.’

Gavin Isaacs, SHFL’s Chief Executive Officer, who used to be Bally’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, added: “We believe that now is the right time to join forces with Bally as there is a unique opportunity to combine each other’s many strengths, particularly our talented teams who have been the key drivers of success for each organisation. It also represents an opportunity for our shareholders to receive a significant premium for their shares. Like SHFL, Bally focuses on creating both entertaining player experiences through high-performing content and state-of-the-art technological solutions to increase productivity on the casino floor. United, we become a larger, stronger organization that we believe will best position the company for future growth. Equally important, we share a common vision to build the industry’s leading supplier based on delivering superior products, solutions and services to customers around the world.”

The last 12 months have also seen operator Pinnacle Entertainment buy Ameristar Casinos for $2.8bn and Scientific Games look to buy WMS Industries.

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