Caesars Entertainment offloads Playtika to Chinese consortium for $4 billion

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Shi Yuzhu

Embattled Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CEC) has agreed to sell its mobile and social gaming asset Playtika Studios to a multi-party Chinese consortium led by  Shi Yuzhu (Founder of Giant Interactive Group) in a $4.4 billion all-cash deal.

Updating the market on Sunday, CEC governance stated that it had entered a ‘definitive agreement’ for the sale of Playtika a core part of Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE).

The Chinese consortium acquiring Playtika is further formed of Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, accompanied by China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co, China Minsheng Trust Co, CDH China HF Holdings and Hony Capital Fund.

Deal stakeholders informed that Playtika would keep its headquarters in Herzliya, Israel, with its existing management team running day-to-day operations.

Playtika who operate leading social games provider Slotomania, had been acquired by CEC in May 2011 for $100 million as the casino operator set-up its interactive gaming division. CEC governance confirmed that no other CIE assets would be sold in the transaction.

Seeking to raise capital for its debt creditors, last month US business news sources reported that the Shi Yuzhu led consortium had been granted a ‘grace period’ by CEC governance in which to propose an offer for CIE assets.

Closing its acquisition, Shi Yuzhu founder of Giant Group commented: “Playtika’s growth has been exceptional and highlights its outstanding team, excellent corporate culture, cutting-edge big data analytics, and its unique ability to transform and grow games. We are looking forward to Playtika continuing to innovate and excel.”

Robert Antokol, Co-Founder and CEO of Playtika, commented on the agreement: “This transaction is a testament to Playtika’s unique culture and the innovative spirit of our employees who for the past six years have consistently designed, produced and operated some of the most compelling, immersive and creative social games in the world.

“We are incredibly excited by the commercial opportunities the Consortium will make available to us, particularly in its ability to provide us access to large and rapidly growing emerging markets. This is an amazing milestone for all Playtikans and we truly value how unique this opportunity is to continue executing our vision with such a strong partner.”

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