Playtika playing a $10 billion game?

Shiri Habib-Valdhorn

The mobile gaming company from Herzliya has started the IPO process, but no details are available yet.

2020 has so far been a positive year for IPOs in New York. Among them have been several technology "unicorns" (privately-held companies valued at over $1 billion) floated on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange.

According to figures released recently by research company Renaissance, which focuses on IPOs, in the first three quarters of 2020 there were 145 IPOs in the US, and they raised a total of over $50 billion. Among Israeli technology companies floated in the US were Lemonade and JFrog, while in the healthcare sector there were Nanox Imaging and PainReform.

Last week, gaming company Playtika announced that it was on its way to Wall Street. The company reported that it had confidentially filed a draft prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a first step towards an initial public offering of its shares. No details of the terms of the offering were disclosed: the valuation that the company seeks, the price range for the shares, and how many shares will be offered.

Nevertheless, Reuters reported four months ago that Playtika was seeking to raise $1 billion, and that it had hired US investment bank Morgan Stanley to lead its offering. According to that report, the plan was to float the company at a valuation of around $10 billion.

In its announcement last week, Platyika stated that after the SEC completed its examination, and subject to market and other conditions, it would move ahead with the flotation.

Acquired and acquiring

Playitka was founded in 2012. Its business is games for mobile, and it claims to have has over 30 million active monthly users. The company employs over 3,500 people at 19 sites around the world, including at its head office in Herzliya.

The company was founded by Robert Antokol, who is still its CEO, and Uri Shahak. It has been acquired twice: a year after it was founded, it was bought by US casinos company Caesars for $130 million, and in July 2016 it was bought for $4.4 billion by a Chinese consortium led by games company Giant that had among its members JackMa's YunFeng Capital. Ma founded ecommerce website Alibaba.

At the same time, Playtika itself has acquired several gaming companies over the years, among them a Finnish company for $275 million and a German company for $100 million. Playtika has made acquisitions in Israel too. It bought Jelly Button, for example, for tens of millions of dollars in 2017.

As a privately-held company that has not yet filed an open prospectus, Playtika has not disclosed details of its financial performance, but it can be assumed that in recent months it has seen a rise in demand for its games, thanks to the lockdowns imposed in many countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on October 19, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018