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Century Gaming acquires Fleetwood routes

Pub Date: 7/1/2007
It was jointly announced June 7 that Century Gaming, Montana's leading gaming machine route vendor, had acquired the vending routes of rival Fleetwood Gaming. Both companies are based in Billings.

A news release from Century said it had "acquired the route operations and non-proprietary gaming devices of Fleetwood Gaming, Inc.  Additionally, (Century has) entered into an agreement to provide service and maintenance on Fleetwood's proprietary Keno King and Brilliant Bet gaming devices at the acquired locations and will also distribute Fleetwood s proprietary products to its existing accounts."

The release continued, "The acquisition of the Fleetwood assets will add 1,336 games and, upon (the sale's) completion, Century Gaming will have over 3,900 games in the Montana market and will remain one of the largest gaming route operators in the United States with over 10,800 video poker and slot machines in over 900 locations in Montana and Nevada."

Century Gaming maintains offices in Missoula, Billings, Great Falls, Shelby, Kalispell, Butte, Helena and Livingston.  

"The acquisition provides Century Gaming with additional growth opportunities while enhancing its ability to offer its customers unparalleled access to all of Montana s most popular VGM s and industry technologies," said J. Grant Lincoln, president and chief executive officer of Century Gaming.

Lincoln also said the purchase would allow Century to continue to provide us with new growth opportunities.  We have acquired one of the premier route operators in Montana, and intend to continue to provide the exemplary service and industry leading technologies and products that (Fleetwood) customers are used to.  

The company s Montana operations will continue to be headquartered in Billings with Steven W. Arntzen continuing as Chief Operating Officer.  Upon the closing of the acquisitions, Century will employ over 700 people with more than 90 in Montana operations, according to Arntzen.  

One of the primary reasons we were able to accomplish this transaction was through the loyalty, dedication, and hard work of our current employees as well as the fact that we have acquired such a dedicated and well trained group of employees from Fleetwood, said Arntzen.   This is a people business, and with this acquisition we have assembled a premier team with industry experience that is second to none. We look forward to continuing to provide the best service in the industry along with the latest games and technology.

In a release from Fleetwood, Jon L. Dehler, President of Fleetwood Gaming, Inc., said, Fleetwood s video gaming route operation historically offered multiple product lines to its customers, but going forward we have chosen a new path that focuses on products that we develop.  The decision to make such a significant change in business operations has not been an easy one, but I am confident that our gaming partners and customers throughout Montana will benefit greatly as a result of this transaction, and I look forward to the continued friendships with all of them.

The release said the sale of Fleetwood s non-proprietary video gaming machine route assets will reduce the company s overall installed gaming machine base from over 2,000 units to an estimated 700 after closing.  

"Fleetwood s current management will continue to lead the company," the release continued, "ensuring that it will continue to provide innovative products, value added services and support to its customers.  Fleetwood will maintain offices in Missoula, Great Falls, Kalispell and Bozeman with its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Billings."

The release quoted Dehler as saying, Our strategy going forward is to focus solely on the continued development and distribution of our innovative, proprietary gaming products and technologies for Montana s gaming operators and their customers."

Thomas Propp, Vice President of Fleetwood Gaming, Inc., said, "This transaction represents an important step in our continuing objective to enhance value and entertainment for gaming operators and customers by creating and releasing increasingly innovative gaming products.  We are not leaving the gaming business. We have so much more to offer the industry.

"It is has always been Fleetwood s objective to develop and deliver innovative gaming products and services that exceed the expectations of Montana s gaming operators and add value to their business operations.  The company will continue to do this through its dedicated and experienced personnel, but with its proprietary gaming products only.

"Century should prove to be an excellent complement to the existing business operations of our location operators and we look forward to seeing our customers and Century s benefit from the transaction, said Propp.

According to Propp, business operations for the company will be reduced in the short term following the sale, but the company fully expects to grow through the development and release of the company s proprietary products exclusively.  

"We will continue to work closely with gaming operators to help facilitate their business objectives and we will deliver powerful new gaming features, as well as other value added industry technologies, all of which we are certain will promote greater entertainment value for players and positive results for operators, Propp said.

The release said the sale "is part of Fleetwood s plan to pursue opportunities that better align with its new growth strategy and business model and, according to Dehler and Propp, The transaction will bring greater benefit to our existing customer base due to the fact that Century offers their customers proprietary gaming machines and other technologies that Fleetwood does not.  

"It truly will provide operators that work closely with Century the opportunity to offer their customers all of the latest gaming machines available in Montana and we are excited for them in that regard.

Source: The Montana Tavern Times, July, 2007, published monthly by Continental Communications, 125 W. Granite St., Suite 102, Butte, MT 59701.