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Big Fish Games Attracts Buyer In Deal Up To $885 Million

Casual game provider, Big Fish Games, has received a buyout bid from Churchill Downs Incorporated, a gambling and horse track racing company. Churchill Downs are those behind the world famous Kentucky Derby.

Big Fish Games could get up to $885 million for the deal, spread across multiple bonus tiers. Its base price is set at $485 million.

Churchill Downs will throw in an additional $350 million, depending on the earnings of Big Fish Games in 2015. Moreover, company bookings in 2016 may net another $50 million for the casual game publisher’s CEO, Paul Thelen.

All money discussed in the purchase is set in cash, except for a bonus of $15 million for Thelen, which will come in the form of Churchill Downs stock. Investment group Goldman Sachs oversaw the deal for the gambling company.

It’s likely that the buyout focuses on the gambling-oriented games from Big Fish Games. One of its most popular titles is Big Fish Casino, which holds an assortment of mini-games that consists of slots, blackjack, poker and roulette.

In its twelve years of existence, Big Fish Games has known considerable growth. It listed profits eleven years in a row and netted $266 million in revenue in 2013.

Originally, the publisher’s model consisted of hour-long trials, after which the full game could be unlocked for a fee. Looking at the expanding mobile market in recent years, the company has shifted some of its focus to free-to-play titles with in-app purchases to boost its profits.

On PC, Big Fish Games is mostly known for its hidden object titles. Currently, its most popular title is Grim Tales: Color of Fright.

Source: New York Times.