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SCIENTIFIC GAMES SEALS BALLY TECH ACQUISITION DEAL
A major US gambling industry deal was revealed Friday when Scientific Games Corporation announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby it has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding Bally Technologies common stock for $83.30 in cash per share, representing a 38 percent premium to Bally's closing stock price on July 31, 2014.
The aggregate transaction value is approximately $5.1 billion, including the refinancing of approximately $1.8 billion of existing Bally net debt. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of the two companies.
"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," said Gavin Isaacs, Scientific Games' president and CEO.
"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.
"Having worked side-by-side with the talented teams at Bally and more recently Scientific Games, I am confident this combination brings together best-of-breed cultures and is occurring at a truly opportune time as both companies are committed to bringing the highest value products and services to customers," Isaacs continued.
"The combined company will feature world-class research and development capabilities, an expanded base of recurring revenues and greater worldwide penetration in key geographies, including the AustralAsia region.
"In addition to the strategic value of the transaction to our customers, we expect to create significant shareholder value as the transaction is expected to deliver immediate earnings and cash flow accretion and will allow us to meaningfully reduce our leverage over the next three to four years.
"Reflecting both organizations' recent post-merger integration successes, we have identified and expect to realize $220 million in annual cost synergies and $25 million of annual capital expenditure savings by the end of the second year following the closing of the transaction."
Richard Haddrill, Bally's chief executive officer, said: "The combination with Scientific Games will benefit our customers and shareholders.
"Increased scale, geographic diversity and product development capabilities will create a new runway of growth opportunities through new products and a comprehensive portfolio of customer-focused solutions. This transaction delivers immediate value to our shareholders, and the highest share price in our history. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at Scientific Games to execute a detailed integration plan to realize customer satisfaction and additional value."
Among other advantages, the transaction would expand the range of Scientific Games' social and real-money iGaming and iLottery products and services. This expanded portfolio is expected to position Scientific Games to better cross-utilise content and technology across the lottery, gaming and interactive sectors to propel future growth.
The combined company is expected to have world-class global sourcing, production, engineering and product development capabilities, as well as a large installed global base of diverse recurring revenue products and services.
Scientific Games and Bally generated combined revenue of approximately $3 billion in the 12-month period ended March 31, 2014.
Scientific Games expects to achieve the anticipated $220 million of cost synergies and $25 million of capital expenditure savings by consolidating operations and generating efficiencies in the areas of manufacturing, engineering, field and customer service and administrative operations.
The company anticipates incurring $75 million of costs to achieve the cost synergies and $40 million in capital costs to complete the integration of the companies. In addition, the combined company is expected to benefit from accelerated use of various tax attributes against U.S.-based pre-tax income.
A Scientific Games press statement said the acquisition would be financed with debt and cash on hand, and notes that the company has obtained committed debt financing for the transaction, which is not subject to a financing contingency.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of Bally shareholder approval and antitrust and gaming regulatory approvals, and is currently expected to be completed in early 2015.
Upon closing of the transaction, Isaacs will continue as president and CEO of Scientific Games, and it is anticipated that Haddrill and David Robbins, chairman of the Bally board, will join the board of directors of Scientific Games, with Haddrill anticipated to serve as Vice Chairman.