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Bally Buys SHFL Combination to create content powerhouse

Bally Buys SHFL Combination to create content powerhouse

Slot and system manufacturer Bally Technologies announced last month that it has agreed to acquire table game equipment and content supplier SHFL entertainment for a premium price of .25 per share, in cash, making the blockbuster deal worth approximately .3 billion.

The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, “combines two best-in-class, highly complementary and customer-centric gaming technology companies with a shared commitment to innovation to create a company offering the gaming industry’s most diversified suite of products,” according to a Bally statement.

“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,” said Ramesh Srinivasan, Bally’s president and chief executive officer.

“The transformational acquisition of SHFL—which joins two high-caliber, 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.”

Added SHFL entertainment CEO Gavin Isaacs, “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 organization. It also represents an opportunity for our shareholders to receive a significant premium for their shares.”

Bally has made several acquisitions over the past few years, but most of them have been tuck-in acquisitions related to the construction of the Bally iGaming Platform. This latest acquisition is the most significant since Bally purchased Sierra Design Group nearly a decade ago.

The addition of SHFL fits right into Bally’s strategy of offering content over multiple channels, as the company will now be able to offer SHFL’s leading specialty table games, such as Let It Ride!, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, both in casinos and as part of the supplier’s online/mobile platform.

The purchase also gives Bally a new revenue stream from SHFL’s line of industry-standard table-game utility products, mainly the line of automated shufflers that led John Breeding to found the company as Shuffle Master in 1983, and transformed the industry through the introduction of multi-deck shoes in blackjack.

However, it is the game content—begun with Breeding’s own invention Let It Ride!—that has forged SHFL’s identity over the past two decades. In addition to a healthy share of the live table game market, SHFL has dominated the market for electronic table games with its Table Master, Vegas Star and Rapid Table Games lines of fully automated and hybrid table games, replicating both traditional games and all of SHFL’s specialty games.