Global Cash Access plans initial offering - Saturday 12th of March 2005

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access Holdings Inc. set in motion a plan to conduct an initial public stock offering that could raise as much as $471.5 million.

The company on Wednesday filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the offering. The number of shares of common stock to be offered and the estimated initial offering price were not disclosed in the filing.

The filing indicates that the company intends to list its stock on New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GCA.

Global Cash Access, which is headquartered at 3525 E. Post Road near Sunset and Pecos roads, provides cash access products and related services to the gaming industry in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean.

The company said its products and services include automated teller withdrawals, credit card cash advances, point-of-sale debit card transactions, check verification and money transfers. Global Cash also provides "products and services that improve credit decision-making and automate cashier operations."

"Substantially all gambling transactions within a gaming establishment must be completed in cash," the company's filing said. "Consequently, gaming revenues are critically dependent on the amount of cash available to patrons within gaming establishments. We believe that the proliferation of card-based payment instruments has led to a general reduction in the amount of cash that consumers carry, including when they visit gaming establishments."

Recent gaming mergers were cited as a risk factor in Global Cash's filing.

"Consolidation among operators of gaming establishments may also result in the loss of a top customer to the extent that customers of ours are acquired by our competitors customers," the filing said. "For example, Mandalay Resort Group is currently the subject of a pending acquisition by MGM Mirage. We are engaged in competitive bidding for a new contract with MGM Mirage."

If the company fails to secure a contract with MGM, the company said it could also lose Mandalay once that contract expires.

In 2004, the company's five largest customers -- Harrahs Entertainment Inc., Caesars Entertainment Inc., Mandalay Resort Group, Boyd Gaming Corp. and Station Casinos Inc. -- accounted for about 38 percent of the company's revenue, the filing said

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