WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE: WMS), a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of games, gaming content and gaming machines, announced today the acquisition of Jadestone Group AB, a leading developer, publisher and distributor of online gaming content and entertainment for online game companies. This tuck-in acquisition is of a strategic technology enabler that augments and enhances the existing WMS portfolio of gaming content, online products and content distribution capabilities for customers looking to expand their brand with online interactive offerings. The terms of the transaction, which will be funded from cash on hand, were not disclosed. Jadestone has established itself as a leading B2B platform integrator and online game publisher, serving customers primarily in Europe. The company provides end-to-end development and distribution services for casino games and other popular online games for a wide range of high-profile customers including Betfair, Betsson, bwin.party, Gioco Digitale, Microgame, Nordic Gaming Group, Paf and Unibet Group, among others. Jadestone offers games in 25 languages, reaches over 50 million potential players across Europe and, most recently, has become one of the leading providers of multi-player skill games in the newly regulated online gaming market in Italy. Orrin J. Edidin, President of WMS, said, “With a proven management team and a decade of experience in development and platform integration for online gaming industry leaders, Jadestone brings a complementary mix of expertise and technology solutions to WMS. Jadestone’s online expertise accelerates our efforts to develop a comprehensive suite of interactive products, managed services and content distribution capabilities. Since their first foray into web-based gaming in 2002, Jadestone has amassed a wealth of knowledge, built a strong customer-centric focus and integrated their platform with a veritable ‘who’s who’ in the online gaming industry. Combining Jadestone with WMS’ internally developed solutions enables the near-term creation of a robust portfolio of successful B2B iGaming solutions that will help our traditional casino customers move forward with confidence to stay connected to their players, wherever and however players find it most convenient to seek out gaming entertainment today and in the future.”
Robert Henrysson, CEO of Jadestone, said, “We are excited to join WMS and take full advantage of the many new opportunities available to develop leading end-to-end interactive solutions. Combining our entrepreneurial creativity with WMS’ culture of innovation sets an exciting next stage in our business development. By integrating WMS’ great game content with our platform, we expect to create many exciting new ways to enhance our product suite and performance for our customers in our existing business while taking advantage of a much broader audience. We’re focused on applying our collective experience to the creation of great content, intuitive interfaces, rewarding experiences and social behavior for websites, mobile apps and social platforms.”Edidin added, “Global gaming markets are rapidly moving toward content convergence and multi-channel distribution as consumers demand ready access to their favorite engaging entertainment content across multiple platforms. With our early stage success and growing experience in online and interactive gaming – through our award-winning UK-based JackpotParty.com online casino; our popular, player-appealing Lucky Cruise™ social casino found on Facebook; and, our classic slot content for mobile and other casual play users – WMS has established a successful online presence and proven track record of responsible gaming and compliance in regulated markets. Our more-than-60-year legacy of creating great games, which we’ve now demonstrated to work on iGaming platforms, positions WMS as a premier partner for casinos and gaming companies seeking a proven and integrated strategic approach; and to that effort, we recently noted our agreement to host an online casino in collaboration with Groupe Partouche for residents in Belgium. WMS’ focus on leveraging our understanding of players’ entertainment preferences with our expertise for creating compelling content sets the Company apart in its development of a technology and entertainment content base to offer value-creating online solutions that will help our customers unlock emerging online opportunities.” About Jadestone Group Jadestone is a leading developer of online casino and skill-based multiplayer online game solutions. The product portfolio is built on the acclaimed Arena gaming platform and features a range of innovative online multiplayer, casino and mini games. Jadestone also operates a European distribution network with direct technical integrations into world leading operators’ cashier platforms, connecting Jadestone’s offering to millions of consumers in more than 25 European countries. The client list boasts an industry-leading list of top-tier gaming operators, including Betfair, Betsson Group, bwin.party, Gioco Digitale, Unibet, Microgame, Nordic Bet and Paf. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the company is privately owned and funded. For more information about Jadestone and its products, please go to www.jadestone.se. About WMS WMS serves the gaming industry worldwide by designing, manufacturing and marketing games, video and mechanical reel-spinning gaming machines, video lottery terminals and in gaming operations, which places leased participation gaming machines in legal gaming venues. The Company’s online iGaming business develops and markets products, services and end-to-end solutions that address global online wagering and casual gaming opportunities. WMS is proactively addressing the next stage of casino gaming floor evolution with its WAGE-NET® networked gaming solution, a suite of systems technologies and applications designed to increase customers’ revenue generating capabilities and operational efficiency. More information on WMS can be found at www.wms.com or visit the Company on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning our future business performance, strategy, outlook, plans, products and liquidity. Forward-looking statements may be typically identified by such words as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “likely,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” and “intend,” among others. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, any or all of our forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Consequently, no forward-looking statements may be guaranteed. Factors which could cause our actual results to differ from expectations include (1) delay or refusal by regulators to approve our new gaming platforms, cabinet designs, game themes and related hardware and software; (2) changes in regulations or regulatory interpretations that may adversely affect existing product placements or future placements; (3) an inability to introduce in a timely manner new games and gaming machines that achieve and maintain market acceptance; (4) a decrease in the desire of casino customers to upgrade gaming machines or allot floor space to leased or participation games, resulting in reduced demand for our products; (5) a reduction in capital spending or interruption in payments by casino customers associated with business weakness or economic uncertainty that adversely affects our customers' ability to make purchases or pay; (6) a greater-than-expected demand for operating leases by customers over outright product sales or sales financing leases that shift revenue recognition from a single period to the term of such operating leases; (7) future costs relating to our planned restructuring and other charges that may be higher than currently estimated, including additional charges related to actions at a later time not presently contemplated; (8) ability to realize in full, or part, the anticipated savings and expense reductions from restructuring and lower staffing; (9) adverse affects on product development, innovation and the ability to retain and attract key personnel following the restructuring and reorganization actions; (10) a reduction in play levels of our participation games by casino patrons, whether due to economic conditions or increased placements of competitive product; (11) inability of suppliers of key components to timely meet our requirements to fulfill customer orders; (12) increased pricing or promotional competitive activity that adversely affects our average selling price or product revenues; (13) a failure to obtain and maintain our gaming licenses and regulatory approvals; (14) failure of customers or players to adapt to the new technologies that we introduce in new product concepts; (15) a software anomaly or fraudulent manipulation of our gaming machines and software; (16) a failure to obtain the right to use or an inability to adapt to rapid development of new technologies; (17) an infringement claim seeking to restrict our use of material technologies; (18) risks of doing business in international markets, including political and economic instability, terrorist activity and foreign currency fluctuations; and (19) the unfavorable outcome of any legal proceedings in which we may be involved from time to time. These factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations are more fully described under “Item 1. Business”, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Legal Proceedings” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2011, and our more recent reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.