(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
A Chinese consortium has acquired Israeli social games company Playtika from Caesars Interactive Entertainment online games unit for $4.4 billion in cash, the companies have announced. Based in Herzliya, US company Caesars acquired Playtika in 2011, for about $170 million.
The Chinese consortium includes game developer Shanghai Giant Network Technology, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma and his private equity firm Yunfeng Capital, China Oceanwide Holdings Group, China Minsheng Trust, CDH China HF Holdings, and Hony Capital Fund. The consortium will hope to exploit the fact that China has the world's largest online gaming market.
Playtika's most popular games include Bingo Blitz and Slotomania and are available on Apple's App Store. Playtika players use virtual currency that cannot be exchanged for real money but can spend money by purchasing items in the games.
The Chinese consortium said that Playtika will continue to operate independently with its own management team at its headquarters in Herzliya, following the acquisition.
Playtika had $725 million in revenue last year, compared with $549 million in 2014 and "only" $54 million in the year the company was acquired. The company's revenue reached $218.2 million in the first quarter of 2016, 10% quarterly growth and 30% annualized growth, reflecting $900 million annualized revenue.