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Playtika prepares for US initial public offering


Social gaming giant Playtika has filed a draft registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of an initial public offering of its common stock. 

The registration statement has been filed confidentially, and the number of shares to be offered – and their price range – is yet to be determined. 

However, reports from Reuters earlier this year suggested that the business would look to raise $1bn from the IPO, which would value the business at around $10bn. 

With the registration statement now filed, the SEC will carry out a review of the business before the offering can take place, which remains subject to market and other conditions. 

The business is owned by a consortium of Chinese technology investors, led by Shanghai Giant Network Technology and including Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, which agreed to acquire Playtika from Caesars Entertainment in a $4.4bn deal in August 2016.

Caesars had owned the business since 2011, under whose leadership Playtika grew from a 10-person start-up to a business employing more than 1,300 people. 

Since the Chinese consortium’s acquisition, Playtika has remained independently run under co-founder and chief executive Robert Antokol’s leadership. 

Headquartered in Israel, it has grown to include 19 offices, and employ more than 3,500 people, while its games attract more than 30m monthly active users. While it was initially focused on social casino games, it has expanded into multiple free-to-play verticals.

It becomes the second major social gaming business to announce plans for a public listing in 2020, after DoubleU Games-owned DoubleDown Interactive revealed it would look to list on the Nasdaq in June. 

Having originally targeted a $100m IPO, DoubleU then amended plans to make 11m American Depositary Shares (ADS) available to investors, to raise $200m.

However, it ultimately postponed these plans in July, claiming that investor appetite had declined as a result of the economic uncertainly created by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.