After posting a record breaking Q4, global gaming supplier, Shuffle Master, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire poker providers Ongame Network from bwin.party services (Austria) GmbH.
A statement released by the company stated the acquisition aligns with Shuffle Master’s strategy of “expanding its online product offerings to capitalise on regulated online gaming, while operating purely as a B2B provider and not providing gaming content directly to players.”
Chief Executive Officer of Shuffle Master, Gavin Isaacs, said: “Our acquisition of Ongame will allow Shuffle Master to offer a scalable, proven and secure solution for online poker. Immediately upon closing the transaction, we will be able to begin leveraging all of Ongame’s experience and expertise in iGaming.”
As consideration for the purchase of the shares of Ongame, Shuffle Master will pay bwin.party Services (Austria) GmbH €19.5 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments at closing, and may pay up to €10 million in cash within five years of closing, contingent upon the commencement of legalized, real-money online poker in the U.S. within such period. The €10 million contingent payment decreases through the five-year period. Shuffle Master expects to fund the transaction with cash on hand or availability on its existing senior secured revolving credit facility.
Managing Director of Ongame, Peter Bertilsson, added: “We believe that our experience and expertise in the European market is a natural fit with Shuffle Master’s considerable commitment and history in developing innovative games and products for land based operators. I am confident that together, our organizations are going to be able to develop the very best in new and innovative solutions for the iGaming market.”
The acquisition is subject to completion of certain conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals, and is expected to close within not more than nine months following execution of the definitive agreement.
Bwin.party co-CEOs Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger also confirmed the imminent transfer of Bwin’s poker liquidity to the PartyPoker platform. “The sale of Ongame represents a further significant step in our process of integrating bwin and PartyGaming and moving to a single technology platform.” Whether this shift will leave prominent Ongame skins like Betfair and Betsson searching for a new poker software provider remains a guessing game for now.