Social Casino Games Maker Playtika Files IPO Draft with SEC

Israel-based social casino games studio Playtika Holding Corp. said on Friday that it has confidentially submitted initial public offering documents with the US Securities Exchange Commission.

News about the move emerge after reports surfaced this past June that Playtika was in the process of hiring banks to prepare for a US IPO.

Sources said that the company was looking to raise around $1 billion and that it could be valued at around $10 billion in its IPO. Playtika is believed to be aiming to go public by the end of the year or early next year.

The company was founded in 2010. It is based in Herzliya, Israel and is best known for developing and operating social casino games as well as apps for poker and solitaire. Caesars Interactive Entertainment, subsidiary of casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. (now Caesars Entertainment Inc.) purchased Playtika in 2011 in a $130 million deal.

The rapid growth of the social casino sector in the past decade saw the company’s value skyrocket. In 2016, it was purchased by a Chinese consortium led by Giant Network Group Co Ltd and Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, for $4.4 billion.

Playtika Looking to Go Public amid IPO Market Pickup

Playtika is gearing up preparations to go public as the US IPO market sees a significant pickup following the coronavirus-induced downturn of the stock market.

The market for initial public offerings started to thaw in late June after a period of declined activity in April and May as companies put their plans for going public on ice due to fears of a global recession.

Central bank stimulus measures and low interest rates eventually renewed the appetite for equities and resulted in IPOs raising $122 billion globally during the first three quarters of 2020, the most in two years.

Playtika could be one of an abundance of technology companies that could benefit from the Covid-19 crisis.

It should also be noted that the company has also benefited from the surge in demand for mobile gaming, including casino-style games, as consumers have been staying home during widespread lockdowns aiming to abort the spread of the coronavirus.

As mentioned earlier, Playtika’s IPO in the US is likely to happen by the end of the year or early next year. The company currently boasts more than 27 million monthly active players from all over the world.

Playtika is the latest Chinese-owned company to be pursuing US listing, despite recently heightened audit standards in the country and the scandal Chinese coffee chain owner Luckin Coffee Inc. got embroiled in earlier this year.

In May, Luckin Coffee said that Nasdaq had warned it of plans to delist it after disclosures that some of its employees had fabricated its 2019 sales by nearly $310 million.

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