As consolidation continues and the titans grow even larger, it was announced today that lottery giant and electronic gaming machine maker Scientific Games plans to acquire legendary American casino game supplier Bally Technologies for about $3.3 billion in a deal expected to close in early 2015 pending regulatory and shareholder approval. The total value of the deal is expected to exceed $5 billion including nearly $2 billion in Bally debt.
The announcement comes a little more than two weeks after another behemoth, GTECH, announced it would be assimilating the world’s largest maker of casino games, International Game Technology (IGT) of Las Vegas, Nevada in a deal expected to be worth $6.4 billion including debt.
The Sci-Games offer for all common outstanding Bally stock was set at $83.30 causing an almost immediate spike in the price of Bally stock which was valued at $60.17 at the close of the market on Thursday. Both companies boards have approved the deal. As of this writing Bally (BYY) is up 29.22% at $77.75, and Scientific Games has begun to adjust downward and is -1.99% at $8.37 but moving fluidly.
Bally Technologies made the financial news last year when it concluded a $1.3 billion deal to acquire rival SHFL Entertainment Inc., (ShuffleMaster) in a package worth $1.3 billion including debt.
Scientific Games acquired WMS when it completed a $1.42 billion deal that gave it ownership of WMS Industries Inc., sometimes known as Williams Gaming – another legendary American slot maker that started into the business in the 1940’s.
Watching the antitrust and regulatory approval process for Sci-Games acquisition of Bally Technologies on the same timeline as GTECH’s acquisition of IGT should make for some interesting days in the months ahead.
Another gaming company to watch in the mergers and acquisitions arena is the always hungry Amaya Gaming Group (T.AYA) who have recently been given regulatory approval for their takeover of the embroiled PokerStars operator Rational Group. Amaya currently has a market capitalization of $2.5 billion and continues to surprise everyone with their abilities to turn sow’s ears into silk purses with no end in sight – unless the GTECH and Sci-Games titans decide to clash in a bid to assimilate them.