Science

Churchill Downs selling mobile gaming company for nearly $1B

Churchill Downs selling mobile gaming company for nearly $1B”

Australia ASX100 gambling technology supplier Aristocrat Gaming has strengthened its position within the social gaming sector, acquiring Seattle-based Big Fish Games from USA racing operator Churchill Downs for a reported $990 million (£735 million) cash transaction.

The acquisition follows Aristocrat's $US500 million acquisition of Israeli social gaming company Plarium Global, which was completed in October.

With this move Aristocrat is going to double the size of its influence in the gambling world and this will result in it being the second-largest social casino gaming entity on a world scale when it comes to revenue comparison.

The poker machine supplier anticipates continued growth in the 2018 financial year.

Aristocrat Leisure expects the acquisition to be earnings accretive in the first full year of ownership. Top Big Fish social gaming titles include Big Fish Casino, Gummy Drop and Fairway Solitaire.

Big Fish will operate as a stand-alone business alongside Aristocrat's other digital operations, Product Madness and Plarium.

Plarium makes digital strategy games such as the popular Vikings: War of Clans, which Mr Croker said would complement the poker machine manufacturing and online gaming giant's existing businesses.

Aristocrat confirmed it will pay Big Fish's parent company Churchill Downs $US990 million ($A1.3 billion) for the company, while at the same time reporting its biggest ever profit of almost half a billion dollars for the year to September.

Big Fish's performance was "pretty choppy" following the 2014 acquisition, Trivison said in an interview Thursday.

In his own note to clients, Trivison said the sale of Big Fish is an "unequivocal positive" because it "allows management to focus its attention and capital on, what we view as, more attractive parts of the business", such as the Kentucky Derby.

CEO Croker says Aristocrat has delivered high-quality results over the year despite mostly flat markets and increasing competition. Industry leading content, hardware and technology, coupled with effective execution focused on our highest value opportunities once again underpinned our performance.

Aristocrat's share price spiked at a record $24.32 just after the results were released but fell during morning trade and closed down $1.61, or 6.8 per cent, at $21.99.



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