International Game Technology (IGT) has announced its intentions to purchase Double Down Interactive. IGT feels that online gaming provides opportunities for revenue growth. The slot machine company has announced that it will pay up to $500 million for the social gaming company.

The buyout includes $250 million in cash up front. In addition, it includes $85 million in retention fees, which will be dispersed over the next two years. IGT also will be willing to pay a fee for performance over the next three years, which may be worth up to $165 million.

The acquisition is unlikely to have a major impact on the current management structure of Double Down. Greg Enell is expected to remain the CEO of the company for the foreseeable future.

IGT’s CEO Patti Hart is optimistic about the acquisition and believes they will receive a strong return on their investment. Hart said that the acquisition and IGT’s reach into the social gaming market will allow them to reach a new demographic that complements their existing users.

IGT’s motives for purchasing Double Down Interactive are pretty clear. Double Down was initially launched in 2010. Over the past couple of years, the company has grown to become the largest virtual casinos in the world. In addition, Double Down was rated as one of the four most popular social media games in 2011. Over 4.7 million people from all over the world play on Double Down each month.

IGT expects that the acquisition will increase its revenues for 2012. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the second quarter.

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