Bally expects $30 million annual savings in takeover of Shfl Entertainment

People try out new Titanic slot machines by Bally Technologies during the G2E convention at the Sands Expo Center Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. The slots are themed after the 1997 “Titanic” movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Shfl Entertainment’s 350 employees in Nevada and 900 worldwide began working for Bally Technologies today as Bally put the finishing touches on a $1.3 billion acquisition announced in July.

Bally President and CEO Ramesh Srinivasan said while there are some job redundancies that could lead to layoffs, most Shfl employees will be retained and won’t have to reapply for their jobs.

Srinivasan said the acquisition was complimentary, with Shfl having most of its expertise in areas in which Bally was lacking. Shfl’s strength has been in table games and automatic card-shuffling machines.

Nevada gaming regulators signed off on the deal last week, and Bally officials said in their presentation that the acquisition would result in $30 million in annual savings. Gaming regulators in other states subsequently approved the deal.

“There are a lot of non-employee-related savings that come when two companies like these come together,” Srinivasan said. “As for the area of employee consolidation, we’re treating all the employees of both companies the same way.”

Srinivasan said most savings would come through merging supply chains and in the reduction of costs in maintaining publicly traded companies. In some locations worldwide, employees from the two companies will move into one building.

But Srinivasan said Shfl’s new facility off the 215 Beltway near Rainbow Boulevard would be retained, and some employees there may be moved to Bally facilities and some Bally employees may go to the Shfl building.

The acquisition included Bally taking on Shfl debt, bringing the company’s total debt load to about $1.1 billion.

Srinivasan said the early goal of the company would be to reduce that level and continue to expand its product line. He said growing to surpass IGT as the world’s leading gaming equipment producer is not a priority.

“It’s not a matter of being big,” Srinivasan said. “It’s a matter of being good. It’s a matter of being the best at what we do. It’s a matter of taking care of good employees and taking good care of customers. It’s not a matter of being bigger than IGT.”

Srinivasan said Bally would consider additional acquisitions if they would be beneficial to company goals. Product brand names will remain the same, and the company will evaluate how the Shfl name is used over time, he said.

“It’s better to buy than build in some circumstances,” he said. “But, when good opportunities show up like Shfl, we’ll always keep an open mind.”