Aristocrat buys Big Fish for $990 million

Australian casino firm follows up $500m Plarium acquisition with another huge deal

The Australian gaming machine firm Aristocrat has closed an all-cash $990 million acquisition deal for Big Fish Games.

The deal was announced at the end of November 2017, but the deal finally closed on January 9 this year. This is the second time in just over three years that Big Fish has been bought, after being acquired by Churchill Downs for $485 million at the end of 2014.

"Big Fish is a very successful business with a bright future that will be best realized by being part of Aristocrat's strategy and vision for their online and mobile gaming portfolio," said Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen in a statement.

Speaking to Reuters, Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker said, "Big Fish's digital-first social casino content and industry-leading meta-game capability and applications are highly complementary to Aristocrat's existing and industry-leading land based digital content business."

This is Aristocrat's second major games acquisition in less than six months. In August last year, it closed a $500 million deal for the Israeli free-to-play developer Plarium.

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