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Aristocrat splits with Mikohn

Jul 15, 2003 6:05 AM

Aristocrat Technologies Inc., whose Australian parent company Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. has been struggling since the departure of top executives earlier this year, has terminated an agreement it had developed with Mikohn Gaming Corp. (MIKN).

The agreement called for the companies to work jointly on the development of hardware supplied by Mikohn Gaming in North America. Also, Aristocrat would service and maintain Mikohn’s gambling machines.

In announcing the termination of the agreement, Gavin Isaacs, president of Aristocrat Technologies, said, "Aristocrat’s primary focus must be on our own customers and our core gaming and systems businesses. We will work closely with Mikohn to ensure a smooth transition of the service operations within the next 60 days."

Meanwhile, the parent, Aristocrat Leisure, said it is still searching for a replacement chief executive to replace ousted Des Randall. Also gone from the company is Lionel Jeyaraj, who resigned. The executives left shortly after the company announced a series of profit warnings that it blamed on contractual problems in South America, poor performance of its operations in the U.S. and smoking bans in some Australian casinos.

The company said it was nowhere near finding the person that would be designated to run the company but in the interim it had asked David Simpson, the former Tabcorp Holdings finance director, to step in to help guide its efforts. As for a CFO, the company said it had narrowed the list after a number of interviews.

As for financial guidance, the company said it was comfortable with recent estimates of a net loss of between $32 million and $37 million, Australian.