AGS to be Acquired, Taken Private by Brightstar

PlayAGS announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Brightstar Capital Partners for $12.50 per share in a cash deal worth $1.1 billion.

AGS to be Acquired, Taken Private by Brightstar

Six years after it began trading as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange, PlayAGS, the parent company of slot supplier AGS, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Brightstar Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm focused on investing in industrial, manufacturing, and services businesses.

AGS, formerly owned by Apollo Global Management, began trading as a public company in January 2018. It has since seen a string of successes as a supplier of casino slot machines and specialty table games. In taking the company private again, Brightstar has agreed to pay AGS shareholders $12.50 per share in cash, in a deal worth around $1.1 billion.

The AGS Board of Directors has unanimously approved the agreement, and has recommended that the company’s stockholders approve the deal. The per-share purchase price represents a 41 percent premium over the company’s volume-weighted average share price over the last 90 days and a 40 percent premium to AGS’ closing price on May 8.

“We are very pleased to reach this agreement, which we believe provides our stockholders with compelling, certain cash value,” said David Lopez, president and CEO of AGS. “Joining forces with Brightstar represents an exciting new chapter for AGS and our mission to provide exceptional gaming solutions for our operator partners.

“With Brightstar’s resources and strategic guidance, we believe AGS will be well-positioned to make targeted investments in R&D, top talent, operations, and industry-leading innovation, which should accelerate our global footprint.”

“We look forward to working with David and the AGS team to capitalize on opportunities by taking a long-term approach to creating value,” said Andrew Weinberg, founder and CEO of Brightstar. “AGS has a strong pipeline of new products, and we believe the company’s innovative approach to game development provides significant potential for continued growth.”

“We have been impressed by AGS’ award-winning products, differentiated culture, and outstanding reputation in this expanding industry,” said Roger Bulloch, partner at Brightstar. “We trust that partnering with AGS and executing on our shared vision can accelerate the company’s ability to create even greater value for its customers and players around the world.”

In light of the proposed transaction, AGS canceled its previously announced conference call to discuss its first-quarter 2024 financial results, which had been scheduled for May 9. AGS will not be issuing a quarterly earnings release.

The proposed transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2025, is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by a majority of AGS stockholders. Upon completion of the transaction, AGS will become a privately held company and shares of AGS common stock will no longer be listed on any public market.

Macquarie Capital is serving as financial advisor and Cooley LLP is serving as legal counsel to AGS. Jefferies LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to Brightstar. Barclays and Citizens JMP Securities are also serving as financial advisors to Brightstar. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Brightstar.

AGS shares soared by 22 percent, to $10.92, the day of the announcement.