Astra announces Danoptra Gaming Group deal completion
Astra Games Limited (the wholly owned UK subsidiary of Austrian Gaming Industries GmbH, (AGI) part of the Novomatic Group) have confirmed that, following clearance from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) given on 3rd July 2012, the purchase of trade and assets of the Danoptra Group companies Gamestec Leisure, Bell-Fruit Games, RLMS Sales and Mazooma Interactive Games has now been formally concluded.
The conclusion of this transaction, which began with initial discussions back in 2009, now creates an Astra UK Gaming Group that, based on 2011 reported figures, has a total turnover of £79.68 million and £15.73million EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) and employs a total workforce of 1,042.
Each of the four ‘acquired’ companies will maintain their individual identities – being some of the most respected and iconic names in the UK gaming industry – and will conduct themselves with their existing staff and in a ‘business as normal’ manner.
The Astra UK Gaming Group will be managed by a five man Board of Directors. Zane Mersich, Managing Director of Astra Games since 2008, will become the Group’s CEO and will be joined by John Austin (Managing Director, Bell-Fruit Games), Chris Butler (Managing Director of Gamestec), Neil Paramore (CFO) and Paul Terroni, who moves from Danoptra to take up the role of Business Development Director within the new entity.
Gamestec’s Managing Director, Chris Butler underlined the importance of the company’s new position within the Astra UK Gaming Group. He said “Gamestec have had the benefit of a close working relationship with Astra and the Novomatic group of companies for nearly two years now. I have personally found both teams to have worked well and closely to deliver the innovation that we now refer to as iPub™. It has been a fantastic project that has now started to deliver results; on the premise of maximising the potential of new and existing customers in pubs. This is only the start! With our new situation and with the benefit of sustained investment, we have only scratched the surface of our future potential. Innovation has never been more important as we seek to compete within the various gaming opportunities that are now open to customers: both in and out of venue.”
Chris continued “The completion of the Astra deal is fantastic news for all the people at Gamestec. The massive improvements that we have been making with can now progress at full speed and we can look forward to delivering the solutions that the UK industry really needs.”
Zane Mersich CEO of the newly formed Astra UK Gaming Group commented “All of us involved in the process of bringing together Astra and Danoptra, understand the importance for the wider UK gaming industry as well as just the parties directly involved, of a deal that will now safeguard iconic industry names and the employment that they provide. We look forward now with great confidence and in the belief that the group of companies that we have created under the Astra banner will, from the outset, play a leading role in the development of the UK gaming industry.”
Dr. Franz Wohlfahrt, CEO Novomatic AG added: “Following the take-over of Astra Games in 2004 and Empire Games in 2011, this major acquisition in the UK brings to our group a true domestic market in the gaming industry’s home country. We are convinced that the synergies generated through the cooperation of the various companies, will not only secure jobs but will also provide important impetus for our global growth as a group, as well as for our business strategy, that is traditionally based on the duality of business activities as a producer and as an operator.”
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ASTRA UK GAMING GROUP media information-1A