NOVOMATIC aquires major UK manufacturer

NOVOMATIC continues expansion with acquisition of 80 % in ASTRA

(Gumpoldskirchen / Cardiff) With the acquisition of an 80 percent shareholding in ASTRA GAMES HOLDINGS LTD, the leading-edge gaming equipment manufacturer headquartered in Bridgend near Cardiff, by Novo Gaming UK Ltd the Austrian-based NOVOMATIC Group of Companies continues its successful course of expansion also in the field of manufacturing.

“The acquisition of ASTRA follows hot on the heels of that of NSM-Löwen-Entertainment, making it the second significant addition to the NOVOMATIC Group in six months in the manufacturing arena. This enables us to establish a third competence centre in the EU – besides Bingen, Germany and Cracow, Poland. In addition, with ASTRA we can strengthen our market position in the highly competitive English market, so that one of the largest gaming markets in the world can become a new home market for us.” said industrialist, NOVOMATIC founder and primary shareholder Prof. Johann F. Graf in a joint statement with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NOVOMATIC Dr. Franz Wohlfahrt on Tuesday afternoon on the occasion of signing the agreements.

Founded in the early 1990’s, ASTRA has long successfully established itself in the English high-technology gaming market, with a most recent annual turnover of approximately 20 million Euros and more than 100 employees. „With a conscious focus on the development of innovative technologies for niche markets such as multi-player systems and slot machines for casinos, bingos and amusement arcades ASTRA fits perfectly into NOVOMATIC‘s strategic philosophy. This is a continuation of our policy of circumspect but consistent expansion“, emphasises Professor Graf.

Details relating to the purchase price will remain undisclosed per confidentiality agreements between the parties, as Dr. Franz Wohlfahrt explained. NOVOMATIC acquires 80 percent of the shares, while 10 percent each will remain with the two existing shareholders Eduardo Morales Hermo and Ron Watts.

„Ron Watts, one of the most creative and innovative minds in the industry will continue to support the company as before in his function as Development Director. With Neil Chinn, who has many years of experience in the international gaming industry and had many successes as a Managing Director of Maygay Holdings Ltd based in Wolverhampton, we have secured a renowned gaming expert as our new Managing Director“, the Chairman of the NOVOMATIC Board of Directors emphasised. ASTRA will be able to continue to rely on the extraordinary expertise in the international gaming market of Eduardo Morales Hermo, who in his function as long-standing President of the Spanish gaming association also has excellent contacts to the Iberian market, which may open interesting perspectives for the future.

„As has already proven successful with Löwen in Germany, based on the principles of partnerships ASTRA will become a NOVOMATIC centre of technical excellence with clearly defined development goals focussed not only on the English market”, Wohlfahrt adds.

With this successful acquisition, the global player NOVOMATIC further strengthens its position as a leading developer and manufacturer of cutting edge gaming equipment on an international scale. „We have not only added another successful gaming equipment manufacturer with additional production capacities to the industrialist Prof. Graf’s NOVOMATIC Group of Companies, but also a highly skilled competent reliable staff with extensive experience“, concludes the Chairman of the Board.