Exclusive: Inspired Entertainment Acquires Slot Machine Maker PlayAGS

PlayAGS, Inc. President and CEO David Lopez celebrates the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 26, 2018 in New York, USA. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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12 Aug (Reuters) – Gaming equipment provider Inspired Entertainment (INSE.O) has made a $370 million offer to buy slot machine maker PlayAgus (AGS.N). a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Inspired offered $10 per share in cash to acquire PlayAGS, sources said. Shares of PlayAGS closed Thursday at $6 he. The news surged 31% to $7.88 in afternoon trading in New York on Friday.

It’s unclear if PlayAGS will participate in negotiations with Inspired Entertainment or if any deal will be struck, the sources added, asking for anonymity because the matter is confidential.

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Inspired Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment.PlayAGS declined to comment.

Las Vegas-based PlayAGS manufactures game tables and interactive solutions for game houses. It went public in 2018 with the backing of private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO.N).

The casino gaming industry and its vendors have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with PlayAGS valued at one-fifth of what the market valued it in 2019.

However, the company is on a recovery track as gaming activity and travel pick up, with quarterly revenue of $76.6 million this week, beating analyst estimates.

According to its website, Inspired Entertainment offers gaming solutions such as virtual sports and mobile games at casinos and bars in more than 35 jurisdictions. The market value is approximately $4 million.

The New York-based company this week reported a 72% increase in quarterly revenue to $71.3 million as its business recovered from pandemic lockdowns.

On Wednesday’s analyst conference call, Inspired Entertainment’s chief financial officer, Stewart Baker, said the company is actively considering a number of M&A activities.

“We are certainly willing to use capital for M&A if it is strategically aligned with what we are trying to do. ‘ said Baker.

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Reported by Svea Herbst-Bayliss of Boston and Krystal Hu of New York. Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis, New York. Edited by David Holmes and Josie Kao

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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