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Aristocrat acquires yet another gaming company for a cool $990m

By Caroline Watson
Australia-based gaming supplier, Aristocrat Leisure has said that it will acquire Seattle-based gaming company, Big Fish Games for $990m.

The company is part of a unit of Churchill Downs, and is all part of Aristocrat’s plan to increase its social gaming footprint. The company also recently acquired Plarium Global Ltd for $500m in cash, in a bit to expand its social casino business.

Trevor Croker, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Aristocrat, said: “The acquisition of Big Fish will immediately provide scale across our entire digital platform, following the recent acquisition of Plarium, which expanded our digital business into the fast growing social gaming market.

Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer at Churchill Downs Incorporated, added: “Big Fish is a very successful business with a bright future that will be best realized by being part of Aristocrat's strategy and vision for their online and mobile gaming portfolio.”

The CDI Board of Directors has approved up to $500m of share repurchases from the proceeds of the Big Fish sale.

“Our digital revenues approximately double from Aus$651m, pro-forma for the acquisition of Plarium, to Aus$1.3bn for the year ended September 30, 2017,” Croker added.

“Our social casino business will become the second largest social casino publisher globally, with revenues increasing from Aus$383m to Aus$641m for the year ended September 30, 2017.

“The acquisition of Big Fish will also materially expand our social gaming footprint, positioning Aristocrat to further capitalise on growth in mobile gaming following the acquisition of Plarium.

“Through continued optimisation of Big Fish's existing successful applications, together with Big Fish's attractive pipeline of new titles across both social casino and social gaming, this transaction ideally positions us to capitalise on the positive growth outlook in each of these mark.”

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