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Caesars Entertainment Gets 100% Ownership in Playtika
12/23/2011 : CAESARS ACQUIRES THE REMAINING 49 PERCENT OF ISRAELI GAMES DEVELOPER (Update)
US land gambling giant continues to strengthen its online technical capability
The acquisition by US land gambling giant Caesars Entertainment of 51 percent of Israeli internet social games developer Playtika in May this year has been followed by the news that the American corporate has snapped up the remaining 49 percent of the company, lifting its internet gaming technical capability.
The Israeli business press reported on the move to secure the rest of the remarkable eighteen-month-old company this week, commenting that it is valued at around $80-$90 million, and that Caesars had exercised its option to acquire the rest of the stock within a two year framework.
The publication Globes quoted sources who revealed that Caesars acquired the balance of Playtika shares for a slightly higher value than its value when the first investment was carried out.
Playtika will become part of the Caesars Interactive Entertainment subsidiary, run out of Montreal by former Party Gaming chief Mitch Garber.
"It is no coincidence that we chose to acquire the balance of Playtika shares now," Garber told Globes in an exclusive interview earlier this week. "Playtika's activity is advancing according to our plans, and company growth has been consistently strong.
"We have learned that controlling a portion of a company's shares it not the same thing as having complete control. The integration of Playtika and Caesars Interactive was important for Playtika's long term growth, and required additional investment that the current shareholders were not sure they wanted.
"We reached the conclusion that we prefer acquiring full control of the company before it is too late, which will enable us to fully integrate it within Caesars Interactive. We have many plans for the future."
Globes went on to detail the pre-deal ownership of Playtika, identifying its co-founders as Uri Shahak, the son of former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shakak, and a former games manager at 888 Holdings, and Robert Antokol, who previously founded game company Cmate SA, which he subsequently sold to Oberon Media Inc. Both will benefit handsomely from the Caesars deal.
Other investors include former 888 CEO Gigi Levy, 888 investor Ofer Lezovsky, former Empire Online VP marketing man Avner Yasur, and real estate developers Igal Ahouvi, Yariv Gilat, and Dafna Weiss, along with Domaine du Castel winery founder Eli Ben-Zaken.
Garber revealed that Playtika's 50-strong labour force will be boosted during 2012, which he said would be a big year for the company, with the emphasis on building up a mainly Israeli-based qualified staff.
The company boasts 10 million mainly Facebook social users a month, but also has a strong presence on the Russian social network V knotakte, currently offering two gambling games: Slotomania, which is a slot machine, and Farkle, a dice game; Garber said that the inventory would soon be increased.
He also revealed that Playtika's activities on non-Facebook social gaming sites would be expanded, including operations in Asia, where games would be customised to the specific culture of each nation.
Garber gave encouragement to Israeli software firms by intimating during the interview that he was interested in further acquisitions in the area.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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