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Aristocrat completes acquisition of NeoGames

| By Robert Fletcher
Aristocrat Leisure has announced the completion of its acquisition of NeoGames, just under a year after striking a deal to purchase the online gambling solutions provider.
Aristocrat NeoGames

In May 2023, Aristocrat agreed to purchase NeoGames for $1.20bn (£958.9m/€1.12bn). It was hoped that the acquisition would complete within 12 months. 

Last week, Aristocrat said the acquisition was close, having secured all the necessary gaming regulatory approvals. NeoGames shareholders this week voted to approve the purchase, clearing the way for the deal to complete.

Aristocrat’s Anaxi subsidiary will now merge with NeoGames and run as a single, integrated global business. This combined operation will run as Aristocrat Interactive, with Aristocrat saying this leverages the strength of its global brand.

Aristocrat added that the acquisition allows it to leverage its own gaming content, customer relationships and expanding capabilities across a wider range of channels and regions. This, it says, will accelerate future growth. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome NeoGames to Aristocrat,” Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker said. “The acquisition of NeoGames and its leading global online real-money gaming (RMG) platform adds to our increasing organic capabilities and will ensure that we deliver on our strategy by providing a portfolio of end-to-end solutions.

“With our ambition to be the leading gaming platform for the regulated online RMG industry, the addition of NeoGames to our team advances our strategy to build global scale and capability.” 

NeoGames CEO Malul to lead Aristocrat Interactive

As for the management of Aristocrat Interactive, Moti Malul, formerly CEO of NeoGames, will lead the new business as CEO. He will report directly to Aristocrat CEO Croker.

Malul ran NeoGames as CEO for five years, overseeing the growth of the NeoGames ilottery business and merger with Aspire Global. Other leaders from within the NeoGames business will join him at Aristocrat Interactive.

“Moti has worked closely with many of our leaders over the past 12 months through the successful acquisition and  integration planning process,” Croker said. “He will transition seamlessly into his expanded role”

Meanwhile, Mitchell Bowen, who had been leading Anaxi as its CEO, will now step down. 

He played a key role in Aristocrat’s build-and-buy strategy to enter online RMG at scale. This includes the acquisition of NeoGames.

Bowen will continue to assist Aristocrat in an advisory capacity through to the end of the calendar year. 

“I sincerely thank and acknowledge Mitchell Bowen for his outstanding contribution to Aristocrat over almost 20 years,” Croker said. “During his tenure, Mitchell held a number of executive roles. He has been instrumental in fostering high performance and our people and customer-focused culture. 

“I am delighted that Mitchell will continue with Aristocrat in an advisory capacity working with myself and other Aristocrat leaders over the coming period.” 

Aristocrat details revised segment reporting

Completion of the deal means Aristocrat will now adjust the way it reports financial results. 

This is effective from the six months to 31 March 2024, the company’s first half of the 2024 financial year. Here, performance will be reported under three primary segments: Aristocrat Gaming, Pixel United and Aristocrat Interactive. 

Aristocrat will publish results as planned on 16 May. To assist modelling and reconciliation of prior year results to the new reporting structure, it will provide comparative half- and full-year financial results for 2022 and 2023 prior to release of the H1 data.

In its final full-year ahead of the expected acquisition, NeoGames reported a 21.1% rise in revenue to $254.4m. The results came in early March, with NeoGames opting not to hold an earnings call due to the pending acquisition.

As for Aristocrat, which operates on a different financial year than NeoGames, the group posted its FY23 results in November. Aristocrat said that its ongoing strategic investment and diversification plans helped push revenue up 13.0% to AU$6.30bn. 

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