In a move that caught the attention of the local business community, Australia-based Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. announced Sunday it intends to acquire Video Gaming Technologies of Franklin for $1.28 billion.
Under terms of the deal, which faces regulatory approval, VGT will operate as a division of Aristocrat (read more here). VGT has a steady revenue stream from about 20,200 machines on lease mostly in Native American casinos, while Aristocrat operates about 8,200 machines in North American.
The Post touched base today with VGT founder Jon Yarbrough (pictured) to get his thoughts on the looming transaction.
How long had the deal been in the making?
Aristocrat and I began talking about this deal at the end of last year. It has taken us a few months to hammer out specifics, and it will take from six to 12 months to close the deal, due to regulatory sign-off practices that have to be completed. We should close during the first half of 2015.
How will your role change? Could you leave within 12 months?
Until the close of the deal, it will be business as usual for me here. Once the deal is actually closed, I will stay on for a short time in an advisory role to help in the transition.
Will VGT continue to be headquartered in Franklin?
Yes. Aristocrat has agreed to long-term leases on the buildings that house our offices in Franklin as well as our other locations.
Will some folks lose their jobs?
No. I don’t think so. Aristocrat has said that it plans to run VGT as a standalone division of their company. We are a thriving company, I don’t think they have much intention of straying from our successful model.
Will you add employees?
Yes. We have job openings on our career site now and plan to continue to grow. There is no hiring freeze due to the sale.
Why was this the right time to sell the company?
The time was right. VGT joining a great company like Aristocrat is an outstanding opportunity for our business. We will have access to more markets, more customers and more game content to further fuel our success and growth.
This is exciting news for our customers, company and associates. Aristocrat Leisure, like VGT, is committed to product excellence and superior customer service. The sale advances VGT’s ability to achieve its mission and will enable faster and more efficient growth of the business than we could have done alone.