Scientific Games set to complete Bally deal

Scientific Games set to complete Bally deal

Friday, November 21, 2014 Totally Gaming

Gaming services company Scientific Games is expected to complete its $5.1bn (€4.1bn) takeover of slot machine maker Bally Technologies today (Friday).

The deal was first announced on August 1, less than two months after appointing former Bally chief operating officer Gavin Isaacs as its president and chief executive. However, approval in recent days from Bally shareholders and Nevada gaming regulators means that Scientific’s acquisition can now go ahead. 

Back in August, BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams, speaking to the Reuters news agency, said. “Following a trail of recent mergers, we believe the combination of Scientific Games and Bally Technologies makes sense strategically.”

It is the latest merger to take place between companies that specialise in land-based casino services, as the industry seeks to streamline. Italian gaming group GTECH remains in talks to buy slot machine maker International Game Technology as it seeks to strengthen its US presence, Scientific bought slot machine maker WMS Industries for $1.5bn in January last year, while Bally itself acquired Israeli online casino company Dragonplay in June.

Bally earlier this week reported that more than 99.6 per cent of the votes represented and cast at a special stockholders’ meeting, or approximately 77 per cent of the total outstanding common stock eligible to vote as of the October 20 record date, voted in favour of the deal. Shareholders are to receive $83.30 per share as part of the deal, which means they have risen 138% compared to the July 31 figure of $60.17.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper, the Nevada Gaming Control Board took just 45 minutes to unanimously approve the deal while the Nevada Gaming Commission came to a positive conclusion in around 30 minutes.

Speaking about the deal in August, Isaacs, whose company will assume Bally’s $1.8bn debt, said: “The acquisition of Bally provides us with a unique opportunity to combine two exceptional companies with long track records of creating leading-edge games and gaming technology products for players and delivering innovative solutions to our customers.

“With leading gaming, lottery, and interactive content, world-class systems capabilities and table game offerings, we believe that the combined company will be uniquely positioned as a strategic partner for gaming and lottery operators, offering a highly diversified suite of value-enhancing products and services across multiple worldwide distribution channels and platforms."

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