Big Fish Games Purchased for US $1 Billion by Aristocrat
Aristocrat Leisure has purchased the social gaming company – Big Fish Games for US$990 million from a global publisher of free games – Churchill Downs, operating across several key business lines, concentrated on particular game segments, such as social casino, premium paid games, and social gaming.
Big Fish Games is based in Seattle, USA, and hires over 700 full-time employees and has five in-house development studios in Oakland and Seattle, USA. Furthermore, the company boasts numerous key profitable applications, but also a strong product pipeline of brand-new applications. Its biggest social casino application, Big Fish Casino, is still a top-ranking application of that kind.
Fairway Solitaire and Gummy Drop, the most popular Big Fish social gaming releases, are ranked the number six and number ten games in the card game and casual game categories, respectively.
The success of Big Fish has also been encouraged by its meta-game capability, multi-app strategy, digital-first content creation, and third-party developer network. For the past 12 months, ending in September 30th, 2017, Big Fish generated a US$458 million adjusted revenue and US$83 million adjusted EBITDA.
As a consequence of the transaction, digital revenue contribution rose substantially from 24% for the Plarium acquisition, to 38% for this year finalized in September 30, 2017.
Big Fish will operate as an independent business, along with Plarium and Product Madness, thus minimizing the extent for disruption to existing businesses of Aristocrat Leisure.
Trevor Croker, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Aristocrat added: “The strategic and financial benefits from the acquisition are highly compelling. The acquisition of Big Fish will immediately provide scale across our entire Digital platform, following the recent acquisition of Plarium, which expanded our Digital business into the fast-growing social gaming market.
“Our Digital revenues approximately double from A$651 million, pro-forma for the acquisition of Plarium, to A$1.3 billion for the year ended 30 September 2017.”
It is expected that the transaction will be finalized in the first quarter of 2018. Under the purchase and sale agreement, Churchill Downs and Big Fish have created warranties, representations, and covenants, which are standard for a transaction of this kind.