When I first saw the news about IGT being for sale I didn’t think much of it. The headline was shaped by IGT’s stock price being up 15%. I’m not in the market, so I wasn’t concerned. Then it hit me that one of the largest slot machine and the biggest video poker machine company is on the market and I was full of WOW.
Evidently this wasn’t a surprise to the stock market as IGT’s value has dropped 31% in the past year. They laid off 7% of their staff earlier this year in hopes of cutting enough costs to salvage the company. It doesn’t look like that’s working as the company is rumored to be on the market just to keep it alive. Reuters says IGT has been planning for a sale for the past two months.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that a number of private equity companies and gaming companies are interested in acquiring IGT. The most interesting to me are Konami Gaming and Apollo Global Management. Let’s take a quick look at how both could work with IGT.
You may know Konami Gaming from their monstrous Titan 360 slot machine (video from G2E). Earlier this year I wrote about their awesome SYNKROS gaming management system for Vegas Chatter. The combination of Konami’s unlicensed creative slot machines, their gaming management services and IGT’s massive licenses and floor space for video poker good be quite a gaming coup.
By acquiring more floor space through IGT we may see a more diverse selection of slot machines on the gaming floor. We may also see new technology brought to older licensed slot machines. On the flip side, less competition in the slot machine market might slow creativity.
Apollo is probably most known to us as part owner of Caesars Entertainment. Like Blackstone who just acquired the Cosmopolitan, Apollo has many assets. Their connection with Caesars could offer an interesting combination of Caesars land-based casino floors and online gambling space to go with IGT’s online and land-based slot machine and video poker technology.
What would an asset management company combine one sinking ship (IGT) with another (Caesars) really accomplish? Could one help the other from sinking? I’m really not sure that this could work but the possibility has me intrigued.
I’m bullish on the idea of Konami purchasing IGT. I think the possibilities are endless and would create an amazing gaming company. What do you think?
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