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Australian gambling group Aristocrat has announced the purchase of Seattle-based company Big Fish Games for $990 million (€831m or £732m).

The acquisition would be made in cash for the full asking price, allowing Big Fish Games to operate as its own entity. Aristocrat have taken a 7 year loan to fund the deal, which they see as pivotal to their growth.

Founded in 2002, Big Fish Games is one of the largest producers and distributors of casual games. The company has sold over 2.5 billion games to customers in over 150 countries. Having successfully transitioned from PC desktop to mobile and online, Big Fish has grown to become one of the biggest mobile publishers worldwide. Their Big Fish Casino is regarded as one of the biggest social casinos online.

Speaking about the purchase Aristocrat CEO Trevor Corker said, “The acquisition of Big Fish will immediately provide scale across our entire digital platform, following the recent acquisition of Plarium, which expanded our digital business into the fast growing social gaming market.

“Our digital revenues approximately double from AU$651m, pro-forma for the acquisition of Plarium, to AU$1.3bn for the year ended September 30, 2017.

“Our social casino business will become the second largest social casino publisher globally, with revenues increasing from AU$383m to AU$641m for the year ended September 30, 2017.

“The acquisition of Big Fish will also materially expand our social gaming footprint, positioning Aristocrat to further capitalise on growth in mobile gaming following the acquisition of Plarium.

“Through continued optimisation of Big Fish’s existing successful applications, together with Big Fish’s attractive pipeline of new titles across both social casino and social gaming, this transaction ideally positions us to capitalise on the positive growth outlook in each of these mark.”