Slot-Machine Maker Buys Facebook Casino Gamemaker (IGT, ZNGA)

With the Facebook IPO bus scheduled to leave the station sometime this year, there is very likely to be rush to get onboard. Slot machine maker International Gaming Technology (NYSE: IGT) is going to pay up to $500 million for Facebook social casino game maker Double Down Interactive LLC. The deal pays $250 million in cash upfront, with another $85 million in retention benefits and $165 million in performance-based payouts.

Recently public gamemaker Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) could reap the benefits of more interest in games, especially casino games, on Facebook. IGT is paying about $100 for each of Double Down’s approximately 5 million players. Zynga claims 30 million players for its online poker game. That’s about half Znyga’s current market cap.

IGT’s shares are down about -2% at noon today at $17.40, in a 52-week range of $13.38-$;19.15. Znyga’s shares are up about 2% at $8.62, in a range of $7.97-$11.50. Zynga’s shares went public at $10, so the company still qualifies as a busted IPO.

Paul Ausick