Elaut buys Benchmark


One of the biggest names in cranes, Elaut of Belgium, has bought one of the premier redemption games manufacturers in the US, Benchmark Games.

“Benchmark is one of the most recognisable names in the amusement industry,” said Elaut CEO Eric Verstraeten. “The conclusion of the deal was reached after a long period of negotiation between the two companies.

“With this acquisition, we are now planning a major expansion to our range. Benchmark brings a portfolio of exception, entertaining, high-profit games and self-contained merchandise machines. The production facilities and staff at Hypoluxo, Florida, will be retained.”

Al Kress, co-founder and president/owner of Benchmark Games, commented that he was satisfied that the company’s products, its employees and the long tradition of research and development at Benchmark will continue under the Elaut banner.

The price of sale has not been revealed by either of the companies. Elaut not only intends to continue the design and manufacture of machines at Benchmark’s factory in Florida, US, but is considering adding more such facilities in the state.

Said Verstraeten: “The staff at Benchmark bring to us a range of new products and also some very creative people.”

The Florida factory, which is situated nine miles south of the Palm Beach International Airport, covers 58,000sq.ft The production line assembles redemption games, ticket dispensers, ticket “eater” redemption machines and ‘ticket-to-prizes’ machines.

Elaut has been a leading presence in the amusement machine industry for nearly 60 years and is already a familiar supplier of games to the North American industry as well as Europe. It has offices in Lakewood, New Jersey, US, and other offices in Germany and in Spain. It is headquartered at St Niklaas, Belgium. It has been the builder of top-quality crane machines for many years, based upon its industry-leading mechanism. Its most successful machine of all time has been the E-Claw range. It is also famous for its “pusher” machines, the best known of which is the Wizard of Oz, and it currently produces the successful Ticket Circus merchandiser.

by David Snook

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