By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier

Bally, one of the world's largest manufacturers of electronic gaming machines and systems has announced the planned acquisition of SHFL Entertainment Inc (formerly Shufflemaster). 

Bally, which is a relative newcomer to Australia, has entered a definitive agreement and plan of merger with SHFL at a per share price representing a 37 per cent premium on the previous three-month average.   

Pending approval by shareholders and regulators, Bally will pay $23.25 in cash per share for total consideration of approximately $1.3 billion. 

SHFL CEO Gavin Isaacs said in a statement that move is a win-win for both the companies and shareholders. 

"We believe that now is the right time to join forces with Bally as there is a unique opportunity to combine each other's many strengths, particularly our talented teams who have been the key drivers of success for each organisation. 

"It also represents an opportunity for our shareholders to receive a significant premium for their shares," said Isaacs. 

Bally president and CEO Ramesh Srinivasan said the joining of "two high-caliber, talented and creative teams" will lead to the most comprehensive product portfolio possible.  

"Both Bally and SHFL have long histories of proven innovation, excellent customer service and successfully anticipating and adapting to changes within our industry, which makes bringing our two companies together a great strategic fit," said Srinivasan.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and is expected to conclude no later than June 15, 2014. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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