American land-based casino operator Penn National Gaming has announced plans to spend approximately $60 million in order to acquire social online casino games developer Rocket Games Incorporated.
Wyomissing-based Penn National Gaming, which operates over 25 facilities around the United States and Canada including The M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas and Ohio’s Hollywood Casino Toledo, revealed that its planned purchase is subject to working capital and other adjustments including potential earn-out payments for the management team at Rocket Games Incorporated over the next two years that has been capped at $110 million.
“Penn National Gaming’s accretive acquisition of Rocket [Games Incorporated] highlights our ongoing strategic initiative to acquire emerging growth platforms that complement and allow us to leverage our core regional gaming operations and database of over three million active customers,” read a statement from Timothy Wilmott, President and Chief Executive Officer for Penn National Gaming.
Established in 2013 by game developers Bill Gelpi and Steven Jian before fellow Zynga veterans Niko Vuori and Justin Cooper joined a year later, San Francisco-based Rocket Games Incorporated offers a library of over 50 social online casino games including titles such as Viva Slots Las Vegas, Downtown Deluxe Slots, Triple Double Slots and Vegas Jackpot Casino alongside licensed innovations incorporating Popeye Classic Slots. Its games are available via the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store as well as on Amazon and Facebook with Penn National Gaming declaring that the acquisition is expected to be “immediately accretive” to its operating results.
“Since the separation of our gaming assets from our real estate assets in 2013 we have been highly focused on a broad range of growth and diversification initiatives,” read the statement from Wilmott. “Launched last year, Penn National Gaming’s HollywoodCasino.com and HollywoodSlots.com social casino offerings have been very well received by players, are profitable and serve as effective customer acquisition tools for our operations. Based on our internal analysis, a significant segment of Penn National Gaming’s database customers actively participate in social and online gaming and we believe there are meaningful operating and revenue synergies between Penn National Gaming’s operations, our HollywoodCasino.com and HollywoodSlots.com social casino offerings and Rocket [Games Incorporated’s] operations that will drive near and long-term growth for our shareholders.”
Penn National Gaming explained that Rocket Games Incorporated, which posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the six months to the end of June of approximately $5.6 million, will continue to be managed on a day-to-day basis by its existing team in California following the planned acquisition.
“We are excited to acquire a best-in-class social casino game developer in a transaction that greatly expands our in-house capabilities and further diversifies our portfolio of leading gaming entertainment assets,” read a statement from Chris Sheffield, Senior Vice-President and iGaming Managing Director for Penn National Gaming. “Rocket [Games Incorporated’s] growth and industry and consumer acclaim over the past twelve months is impressive given its lack of funding from outside investors or access to the resources and experience of an established casino operator.”