Alliance execs scrambling

Jul 6, 2004 5:35 AM

Alliance Gaming Corp. (AGI) remained in the news last week with company officials scrambling to right the ship that had entered troubled waters.

Investors began bailing out in June when the company announced that for various reasons, mostly because sales didn’t measure up, the earnings picture wasn’t as bright as officials had forecast early in the year. Sudden Wall Street selling, following analysts downgrades of the stock, caused the share price to fall from the low $20’s to $15 and change.

What followed was a plethora of class action law suits filed on behalf of shareholders by several Eastern based law firms.

Then the company issued a press release announcing the appointment of veteran gaming machine manufacturing executive Richard Haddrill as the company’s new president and CEO. However, Haddrill would not succeed Robert Miodunski in the CEO’s chair until Oct. 1.

Also, the company said it had completed the sale of its 100% interest in United Coin Machine Company, a slot route operation in Nevada to Century Gaming of Montana. Sale price was $100 million in cash with Century assuming about $5 million of Alliance Gaming debt. Century also agreed to reinforce its slot route machines with units purchased from Alliance’s Bally Gaming division.

Not sold, however, was the company’s 49% interest in a Louisiana slot route company. A year ago, Alliance Gaming said it had an agreement to sell its investment in Video Services Inc. to Gentilly Gaming LLC. But, the deal fell through and Alliance Gaming said it will seek another buyer.

Haddrill will not be taking over as CEO of the company without having some in depth awareness of its operations. He has been on the board of directors since April 2003.

In the 1990’s, Haddrill was president and CEO of Video Lottery Technologies Inc. (VLC), a company that not only manufactured slot machines but also operated United Tote, the pari-mutuel services company, and AWI Inc., a provider of lottery services.

VLC later changed its name to Powerhouse Technologies Inc. The company was acquired by Anchor Gaming Inc., which itself was merged into International Game Technology (IGT) in 2001.

During the past five years, Haddrill was CEO of Manhattan Âí­Association Inc., a provider of software solutions.

Having overview responsibilities for Alliance Gaming will be a newly-created Office of the Chairman whose members will be Âí­David Robbins, chairman; Joel Kirschbaum, Haddrill and Âí­Miodunski.