IGT to acquire Facebook game developer for $500M

The slot machine company has been trying to expand in the online gaming business

International Game Technology, a maker of slot machines, has reached a definitive agreement to acquire social games developer Double Down Interactive for US$500 million, as it expands in online gaming, it said Thursday.

Double Down, in Seattle, Washington, runs a popular virtual casino on Facebook called DoubleDown Casino. The casino has 4.7 million monthly active users, according to AppData's application traffic tracking service.

With the acquisition IGT plans to position itself as a provider of games on multiple platforms, including online on Facebook. The acquisition of DoubleDown will give it size and scale quickly in the online casino market, it said. In December, IGT announced its cloud platform that operators can use to manage and optimize the use of casino floors.

IGT said it will fund the acquisition using cash on hand. Besides $250 million in cash, IGT will pay $85 million in retention payments over the next two years, and up to $165 million in cash in performance-based payments for the next three years.

The deal is expected to close in IGT's fiscal second quarter which ends March. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including anti-trust clearances, the company said.

Double Down's CEO Greg Enell will continue to lead the business, and its operations will remain in Seattle after the completion of the acquisition, IGT said.

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