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Scientific Games-Bally deal gets federal antitrust OK

Federal antitrust regulators signed off on Scientific Games Corp.’s $5.1 billion acquisition of Bally Technologies, the two gaming companies announced Wednesday.

In a joint statement, the companies said they received notice from the Federal Trade Commission of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

New York-based Scientific Games, a lottery industry provider, is paying $83.80 per share to acquire all outstanding shares of the Las Vegas-based slot machine manufacturer.

The deal is being financed with debt and cash on hand. Scientific Games said it has obtained committed debt financing for the transaction, which is not subject to a financing contingency.

Federal antitrust approval is one of the key conditions required to close the transaction, which remains subject to approval by Bally’s stockholders and gaming regulatory approvals.

Earlier this month, the $6.4 billion buyout of slot machine machine giant International Game Technology by Italy-based lottery provider GTECH Holdings received its own federal antitrust approval.

Union Gaming Group analyst Robert Shore said the slot machine industry is seeing smaller companies, such as Ainsworth Game Technology, Multimedia Games, Aruze and Konami Gaming, grabbing market share away from larger manufacturers, such as Bally and IGT.

“The news is not a surprise as we didn’t expect any major (antitrust) concerns given the increasing number of competitors in the space,” Shore said.

Both mergers are expected to be completed in early 2015.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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