EDISON, NJ — Belgian coin amusement pioneer Elaut nv/sa has completed the second phase of its U.S. expansion plan with its acquisition of Monduce Inc., a major operating company specializing in arcade concessions at amusement parks. Monduse president Neal Rosenberg, who made the announcement, explained that Elaut had purchased a majority position in Monduce three years ago in a transaction that included a commitment to purchase the remaining interest.
Monduce was co-founded in 1975 by Bruce Kawut and Mondial International, then a leading importer of coin-operated equipment. The company is changing its name from Monduce to Elaut USA, and will consolidate its sales, service, operating and administrative functions under one roof. It will remain in Edison.
Additionally, industry veteran Jack Guarnieri has been named chief executive officer of Elaut USA and will become an equity owner in the company. He is merging his company, PinballSales.com, with the new U.S. unit of the Belgian firm.
PHOTO: Shown, from left are Elaut’s Emmy, Achiel and Eric Verstraeten; Elaut USA president Neal M. Rosenberg; technical engineer Johan de Vos; Elaut USA chief financial officer Knut Danielsen; Helga Verstraeten; and Elaut USA chief executive officer Jack Guarnieri
According to Guarnieri, the newly combined company expects to top $16 million in sales over the next year in the manufacturing, distribution, operations and service segments of the coin-op industry. It will also market product through the pinballsales.com website, which went live in 1999 and reportedly averages 2,300 unique visits a day.
The new chief executive observed that PinballSales.com’s revenue stream “evens out” the seasonal aspect of location operations. It also provides Elaut, which is seeking to expand beyond operations in the U.S., with a contemporary sales approach for its legendary product line.
He added that the company has a budget of $5 million for buying amusement products next year. “There are some very exciting opportunities for us ahead and we intend to capitalize on current market conditions,” he said.
Guarnieri and Rosenberg report that founder Bruce Kawut has agreed to continue working with the organization as general manager.
Elaut founder Achiel Verstraeten developed a mechanism for prize cranes in 1959 that featured three motors on an independent carriage. That innovation contributed to the subsequent takeoff of cranes as the most successful segment of the redemption game business. Today, Elaut has a worldwide distributor network that gives it insight into the needs of its diverse clientele. The company continues to grow by emphasizing quality and innovative technology. It is headquartered in Sint-Niklaas (East Flanders, Belgium).
Elaut USA will be exhibiting at this year’s Attractions Expo, produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, in Orlando, FL. On display will be the new Cuba Watch Crane, a one-player machine that can be stocked with watches and other jewelry, cellphones and MP3 players, among other fashionable prizes. Themed to resemble a tropical island paradise, the new crane is designed with Elaut’s Intelli Control System, and can support the Intelli Link remote management system.