Aspire Global up 30% since Swedish IPO

Pini Zahavi, Eli Azur Photos: Shitzur Shai
Pini Zahavi, Eli Azur Photos: Shitzur Shai

The Israeli online gaming company's market cap has soared to $205 million.

Israeli online gaming company Aspire Global plc (FN Stockholm: ASPIRE), which held its IPO just over a month ago, has since seen its share soar 30%.

The company's share price, which was 30 Swedish krona in the IPO, yesterday closed at 41.3 krona, and remained at about 40 krona in today's trading, bring the company's market cap to over 1.6 billion krona ($205 million).

The company's satisfied shareholders include soccer players agent Pinhas Zahavi and media companies owner Eli Azur, who also jointly own Charlton, which broadcasts pay-for-play sports channels in Israel. Zahavi and Azur each own 17% of Aspire's share capital, meaning that the value of each of their holdings is $36 million. Both Zahavi and Azur sold shares during the offering. Zahavi is also a director in the company.

€60 million in revenue in 2016

The largest shareholder in Aspire is Barak Matalon with 27% of the company's share capital, currently worth $59 million. Another shareholder is Aharon Eran, who has a 7% stake, worth $14.8 million.

Founded in 2005 and managed by CEO Tsachi (Isaac) Maimon, the company supplies systems and services for operators of online gambling websites. The company is headquartered in Malta, and has employees in Malta and 60 employees in Israel, as of the end of April.

Aspire issued 2.1 million new shares in its IPO in July, raising only $7.5 million, while its shareholders, including Zahavi and Azur, sold 8.9 million shares for a total of $31.4 million. Aspire said that the money it had raised in the IPO would be used mainly to pay for acquisitions and investments for the purpose of expanding the selection of products offered by the company, expanding to additional markets, and continuing its investments in the technological platform developed by the company.

Aspire's revenue totaled €60 million in 2016, 5% more than in 2015, and its net profit was €11.6 million, 14.4% less than in 2015. The company posted a €3.4 million net profit on €17.1 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2017. At the end of the first quarter, before the company's IPO, it had €8.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

According to the figures attached by Aspire to the prospectus it submitted before its IPO, the global gaming market totaled €385 billion in 2016, of which €98.3 billion was in Europe. The European online gaming market accounts for €20.3 billion of this, and the parts of this market at which Aspire is aiming total €14.6 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - - on August 14, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

Pini Zahavi, Eli Azur Photos: Shitzur Shai
Pini Zahavi, Eli Azur Photos: Shitzur Shai
Shiri Habib-Valdhorn and Globes correspondent
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