Shareholders approve $1.4 billion slot maker merger |

Shareholders approve $1.4 billion slot maker merger

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Reno-based International Game Technology and Las Vegas-based Anchor Gaming shareholders have voted in favor of IGT’s $1.4 billion takeover of Anchor.

More than 98 percent of shareholders at both slot machine makers on Tuesday voted separately in favor of the deal, the companies said in a joint statement.

“We are pleased that IGT and Anchor Gaming stockholders overwhelmingly approved the proposed transaction,” said Tom Baker, IGT’s president.

The merger will be considered by the state Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission Thursday in Carson City.

The two companies have until the end of January to complete the deal, but if approval from the state is received Thursday, “we could close it on Friday,” Anchor spokesman Howard Stutz said.

The Federal Trade Commission terminated the deal’s waiting period last week, ending the possibility that the merger would be blocked on antitrust grounds.

IGT plans to acquire Anchor in a one-for-one stock transaction, and assume $430 million in debt.

The combined companies would have a total stock market value of approximately $5.9 billion, creating the largest publicly traded company in Nevada. The next largest is MGM Mirage with an approximate value of $4.4 billion.

The slot makers generated combined revenues of $1.84 billion during the 2001 budget year.

IGT is the world’s largest manufacturer of slot machines and has a market capitalization of $4.9 billion. The company has 4,007 employees throughout the world.

Anchor, which also has casinos in Cripple Creek and Black Hawk, Colo., and a Nevada slot machine route, employees 2,400 people.

No job cuts are planned, company officials said.

IGT shares were down 95 cents Wednesday, closing at $66.48, while Anchor shares were down $1.12 Wednesday, closing at $66.15.

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