A consortium including China’s Giant Interactive Group, backed by billionaire Shi Yuzhu, is in talks to acquire Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s Israeli social games company, Playtika, including Giant Interactive Group, for more than $4 billion, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Caesars acquired Playtika in 2011. The Israeli founders are Robert who remains the company’s CEO and Uri Shahak, the son of former IDF chief of staff Lt.Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak.
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Reuters reported earlier that the Giant consortium is in advanced talks to acquire the unit and has been granted a short period for exclusive negotiations, citing unidentified people.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the Korean gaming firm Netmarble Games Corp had been in talks to buy Playtika for up to $4.3 billion.
“The Wall Street Journal” reported in May, that Caesars was considering selling Playtika and that it had hired the services of investment bank Raine Group to manage offers it had received, which value the company at $4 billion, at least.
Playtika, has been managed as a completely independent unit within Caesars and has become the world’s leading player in the social games on Facebook, with titles such as Slotomania and Bingo Blitz. The business generated $725 million in revenue last year, compared with $549 million in 2014 and “only” $54 million in 2011, 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.