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Bally-SHFL: Done Deal

Bally-SHFL: Done Deal

Slot and system manufacturer Bally Technologies has completed its acquisition of table-game supplier SHFL entertainment, creating a merged company that covers just about all bases in the supply of casino games, systems and ancillary equipment in what is arguably the industry’s most diversified product suite.

Bally, the oldest slot manufacturer in the business, had already diversified its product portfolio by building the top system organization in the industry. The acquisition of SHFL, formerly Shuffle Master, adds the industry’s leading group of proprietary table games to the Bally lineup—both in the live versions of games like Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud, Three Card Poker and Four Card Poker, and in the fast-growing internet-based versions of those games, the patents for which SHFL has protected fiercely.

As previously announced, SHFL shareholders are receiving $23.25 per share in cash for each share of SHFL stock. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.3 billion, including assumed net debt.

“We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of our acquisition of SHFL, marking the beginning of a combination of two best-in-class, highly complementary and customer-centric gaming technology companies that will be even stronger together,” said Bally President and CEO Ramesh Srinivasan. “I want to personally thank everyone involved in the process which led to a successful and accelerated close.”

With the completion of the acquisition comes the departure of SHFL CEO Gavin Isaacs, the former Bally COO who took the reins at Shuffle Master and guided that company to new heights by increasing distribution of proprietary games and directing an effort to enforce its patents against offshore internet casinos that had been using the company’s titles on their sites with impunity.

Several other senior SHFL executives will remain with the merged company, including Roger Snow, one of the industry’s most prolific game inventors. Other SHFL executives remaining with Bally include Julia Boguslawski, now Bally’s vice president of corporate marketing; Adrian Halpenny, now Bally senior vice president of Australia and Europe; and senior officers including Deron Hunsberger, Alexander “Axel” Grohs, Nathan Wadds, Colin Helsen, John Hemberger, Peter Wilkins, Terri Conway and John Strickland.

Meanwhile, Bally announced several changes to its own senior executive team in light of the merger:

• Senior Vice President for Law and Government, Secretary, and General Counsel Mark Lerner retired effective December 31, and SHFL General Counsel and Executive Vice President Katie Lever became senior vice president of legal and compliance, secretary, and general counsel, effective January 1.

• John Connelly, former vice president of business development, assumes the role of senior vice president of business development and interactive.

• CFO Neil Davidson assumes the title of senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.

• Human Resources Senior VP Gary Kapral is now senior vice president of operations and human resources.

• Derik Mooberry, senior vice president of games, assumes the title of senior vice president of games, table-game products and interactive research and development.

• Robert J. Parente, formerly vice president of Canada, Europe and corporate accounts, is now senior vice president of North American sales and corporate marketing.

• Sethuram Shivashankar is promoted from vice president of engineering and information technology to senior vice president of systems research and development and information technology.

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