Playtika Paying up to $300M to Acquire Innplay Labs
Posted on: September 15, 2023, 02:41h.
Last updated on: September 15, 2023, 03:02h.
Mobile games developer Playtika (NASDAQ: PLTK) announced today it is acquiring mobile gaming studio Innplay Labs for as much as $300 million.
The deal includes an upfront payment of $80 million, with the potential that the ultimate price paid for the target could be as much as $300 million. Like Playtika, Innplay is an Israel-based company. The latter is privately held.
The acquisition of Innplay Labs, our second transaction this quarter, represents another strategic expansion of our portfolio with a promising and innovative growth franchise in the Luck Battle genre, and presents another opportunity for us to further utilize our expertise in leveraging LiveOps and proprietary technology to drive sustained, long-term growth,” said Playtika CEO Robert Antokol in a statement.
Formerly a unit of Caesars Entertainment, Playtika is the developer of popular social casino games, including Bingo Blitz, Caesars Slots, Slotomania, and World Series of Poker (WSOP) Social, among others.
Playtika Acquisitive, but also Potential Target
While Playtika remains acquisitive, news of the Innplay Labs acquisition emerged about three months after reports surfaced indicating multiple private equity firms are evaluating takeovers of the Israeli gaming company.
It’s rumored that Advent International and CVC Capital Partners are the private equity firms that evaluated a deal with Playtika, but that hasn’t been confirmed. The company announced a strategic review, which could include a sale, in February 2022.
Making Playtika potentially attractive to prospective buyers is the opportunity to better monetize the gaming company’s offerings and boost monthly average user (MAU) engagement. Buyout shops could also be drawn to the growth prospects of social casinos and in-app business models.
Playtika and Angry Birds producer Rovio Entertainment scrapped merger talks earlier this year. While that transaction didn’t materialize, it underscores Playtika’s knack for dealmaking — an attribute affirmed by the Innplay Labs purchase.
What Playtika Gets with Innplay Labs
Innplay Labs is the studio behind well-known titles such as Animal Kingdom and Tiles of Fortune, indicating that Playtika is bolstering its content library and technological capabilities with the acquisition.
In the mobile gaming industry, content and technology are essential because those factors can boost the appeal of games to customers, potentially inducing more in-app purchases — an essential revenue stream for companies such as Playtika.
Some on Wall Street are optimistic about the future of select companies in this space. They note soaring in-app purchases, the catalyst of new game introductions, and expansion opportunities that aren’t currently reflected in share prices. It adds up to an industry that appears ripe for mergers and acquisitions activity.
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