Shuffle Master purchases online poker provider Ongame Network
March 7, 2012
Shuffle Master, a leading global gaming supplier, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ongame Network from bwin.party Services (Austria) GmbH. Ongame is one of the world's largest poker providers to online gaming operators, with a global network that includes more than 25 of the iGaming industry's strongest brands and operators, as well as regional networks in France and Italy.
The acquisition aligns with Shuffle Master's strategy of expanding its online product offerings to capitalize on regulated online gaming, while operating purely as a B2B provider and not providing gaming content directly to players.
“Our acquisition of Ongame will allow Shuffle Master to offer a scalable, proven and secure solution for online poker. Immediately upon closing the transaction, we will be able to begin leveraging all of Ongame's experience and expertise in iGaming,” said Gavin Isaacs, CEO of Shuffle Master. “I am confident that Ongame will fit seamlessly into our ongoing interactive initiatives of delivering our renowned brands to online gaming operators, partner Web sites, social networks and mobile platforms. Poker is a natural fit for our table‐centric online offerings and our many jurisdictional licenses present a compelling opportunity for our current and future online customers.”
As consideration for the purchase of the shares of Ongame, Shuffle Master will pay bwin.party Services €19.5 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments at closing, and may pay up to €10 million in cash within five years of closing, contingent upon the commencement of legalized, real‐money online poker in the United States within such period. The €10 million contingent payment decreases through the five‐year period. Shuffle Master expects to fund the transaction with cash on hand or availability on its existing senior secured revolving credit facility.
The acquisition is subject to completion of certain conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals, and is expected to close within not more than nine months following execution of the definitive agreement.
“Shuffle Master is renowned for offering its customers a unique and diverse suite of products designed to meet the needs of today's online operators and casinos,” said Peter Bertilsson, managing director of Ongame. “We believe that our experience and expertise in the European market is a natural fit with Shuffle Master's considerable commitment and history in developing innovative games and products for land based operators. I am confident that together, our organizations are going to be able to develop the very best in new and innovative solutions for the iGaming market.”
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