That's a Bingo

Inglourious Basterds

Gaming


Three months ago, Game Show Network was suing Bash Gaming for allegedly welching on a $160 million acquisition deal. Today, GSN will announce that it has bought Bash, maker of the hit social casino game Bingo Bash, for an undisclosed amount that sources say is in the same ballpark.

GSN primarily makes mobile and social slots videogames, and also lets users bet and win real money on games of skill at GSN.com. Bash Gaming launched in early 2010 as BitRhymes, and first released Bingo Bash on Facebook in November 2011, later bringing it to iPad, iPhone and Android. The company released its second game, Slots Bash, on iPad last year.

In 2013, Bingo Bash was the seventh-highest grossing app on iPad. GSN Casino, which offered both slots and bingo, was 10th.

The two companies first entered talks in mid-2012, and by August 2013 had committed to paper a planned deal totaling $65 million cash plus a $65 million earnout, according to GSN’s contractual fraud lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. A few weeks after the end of a 60-day exclusivity period, Bash told GSN about other unnamed potential buyers, driving the price up to $80 million cash and an $80 million earnout, with $1 million salaries for Bash co-founders Sumit Gupta and Vikas Gupta.

After accepting the new offer and setting a target closing date of Nov. 7, according to the suit, Bash CEO Sumit Gupta allegedly called GSN CEO David Goldhill on Oct. 30 to say Bash had accepted an acquisition offer from another unnamed bidder for a still-greater amount. GSN was seeking to enforce the terms of the $160 million contract as well as $25,000 in damages.

The pending lawsuit had been scheduled for a hearing in March. A GSN spokesperson declined to comment on its status, and Gupta declined to discuss the companies’ disagreements.

“That’s not the story,” Gupta said.

Update: After the publication of this article, Gupta called back to say the suit has been dropped.

GSN Executive Vice President Jeff Karp said the acquisition will double GSN’s existing daily active users and grow monthly active users to nearly 10 million. He declined to say how exactly Bingo Bash would be integrated into GSN’s existing games lineup, but both he and Gupta said the acquisition included plans to integrate the companies’ content.

Gupta said the acquisition includes the hiring of Bash Gaming’s 140 employees, who are split between Silicon Valley and India. The CEO called himself “extremely proud” of the team.

A privately held joint venture of Sony and DirecTV, GSN is “highly profitable,” Karp said. Based on what users play and how they spend their money, the company pushes changes into its online casino games several times a week, he added.



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