While it’s fair to say that not all mergers and acquisitions in the online casino space go according to plan, the deal that sees Scientific Games buy up Elk Studios has passed without a hitch.
The software provider has been eyeing a major move into the North American market for some time, and their tie-up with Elk Studios will see them rolling out the Swedish firm’s award-winning games to their various clients in the USA and Canada.
But Scientific, unlike William Hill in the wake of their takeover by Caesars Entertainment, have not turned their back on the UK and European markets, and will continue to enhance their presence on the continent with acquisitions like that of Elk.
The numbers behind the deal have not been revealed, but it’s likely to be a deal that suits both parties – they have a pre-existing connection having teamed up on Scientific Gaming’s OpenGaming platform. It’s also believed that Elk will continue to create new slots and table games independently, although Scientific would presumably have first dibs on releasing these onto their clients’ platforms.
It’s the latest in a long line of activity from Scientific Games in recent months, who have penned deals with Authentic Gaming and Lightning Box in a bid to enhance their gaming offering in new areas, including live dealer games.
But they’ve balanced the books by flogging their lottery division to equity firm Brookfield Business Partners, before agreeing the sale of their OpenBet sports betting channel to the Endeavor group.
Scientific Games’ chief executive, Barry Cottle, is looking forward to working with an Elk Studios outfit that he believes is ‘packed with talent’.
“Acquiring Elk Studios demonstrates once again our commitment to make targeted, value enhancing investments designed to advance our cross-platform content capabilities,” he said.
“The highly synergistic combination of their top-ranked games and our leading OpenGaming ecosystem offers exciting distribution opportunities in the US and Canada.”
Scandinavians Leading the Charge
Once again, it’s a country from the Nordic region that has been the target of takeover activity.
Finnish led team Relax Gaming was acquired by Kindred in October for around £200 million, while Swedish esports operator Abios was picked up by Kambi for £22 million in August.
But it’s not all one way traffic, with Swedish firm Lady Luck Games committing to the acquisition of UK outfit Revolver Gaming for a reported £2 million in November.
Elk Studios, operating out of Stockholm, have been in the business for the best part of a decade, producing innovative slots that have stood the test of time.
And they enhanced the gamification of their titles with the release of X-iter, which introduces five pre-set game modes – such as Super Bonus and Nitro Boost – to get straight into the action without modifying stake settings etc.
Speaking about the Scientific Games deal, Elk’s chief exec Filip Safbeck revealed:
“We see it as the perfect time to join the Scientific Games team, given that our ambitions to grow through innovation and into the US and Canada are in total alignment.
“This acquisition offers us a solid base to bring to market a wide range of exciting new slots more smoothly than ever to online casino partners across the globe.”