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Chinese investors pay $4.4b for Playtika

Mon, Aug 1, 11:56am by Staff Writer

Playtika LogoChinese investors are set to pay $US4.4 billion to buy the social and mobile casino games unit of Caesar’s Interactive.

A consortium of investors, including Yunfeng Capital and Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co, have paid the massive amount to secure Playtika and with it a foothold in the fastest-growing segment of the gaming industry.

Playtika, which plans to continue to run independently from its headquarters in Herzliya, Israel, build and market mobile and social applications in the casino space.

“This transaction is a testament to Playtika’s unique culture and the innovative spirit of our employees who for the past six years have consistently designed, produced and operated some of the most compelling, immersive and creative social games in the world,” said Robert Antokol, Co-Founder and CEO of Playtika.

“We are incredibly excited by the commercial opportunities the consortium will make available to us, particularly in its ability to provide us access to large and rapidly growing emerging markets,”Antokol said.

“This is an amazing milestone for all Playtikans and we truly value how unique this opportunity is to continue executing our vision with such a strong partner,” he said.

The investment of a major Chinese consortium in a company such as Playtika is significant given organised gambling is illegal in China, with the exception of casinos in Macau.

“Despite the legal issues in China, these Chinese investors are more comfortable playing the long game,” Union Gaming Group analyst Grant Govertsen told the Australian Financial Review.

“Online gaming, eventually, should be massive after the various regulatory hurdles are worked out even if it takes a significant number of years.”

Caesars bought the Playtika, which was the first company to introduce free-to-play casino-style games to social networks, in 2011.

The virtual currency used on the Playtika platform will continue to not be exchangeable for real money, according to a statement released on Sunday.

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