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Australian Firm To Acquire Social Casino Developer For Nearly $1 Billion

Aristocrat Technologies Agrees To Purchase Big Fish Games


An Australian gambling machine manufacturer has reached a deal to acquire a leading social casino and gaming company for $990 million in cash, according to a press release.

Sydney-based Aristocrat Leisure announced that it has entered into a agreement to acquire 100 percent of social gaming company Big Fish Games, a subsidiary of U.S. casino and racetrack operator Churchill Downs.

Big Fish, headquartered in Seattle, has “a top ranking social casino application globally with industry leading user monetisation levels,” Aristocrat said in a statement. Big Fish will operate as a standalone business. The move for Big Fish follows a deal earlier this year to acquire Israel-based mobile games-maker Plarium for about $500 million.

“The acquisition of Big Fish will also materially expand our social gaming footprint, positioning Aristocrat to further capitalize on growth in mobile gaming following the acquisition of Plarium," Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker said in a statement. “Big Fish’s strength in casual and card games is highly complementary to Plarium’s strategy games portfolio.”

For the 12 months ending Sept. 30, Big Fish generated adjusted revenue of $458 million and adjusted EBITDA of $83 million, according to Aristocrat. Churchill Downs acquired Big Fish in 2014 for $885 million. The sale is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2018.