China group bets on Caesar's game unit
A CHINESE consortium linked to Alibaba founder Jack Ma will spend US$4.4 billion to buy a developer of casino-style game apps from a US firm, one of its member companies said yesterday.
The 11-strong private equity consortium has agreed to buy the Playtika unit, which makes games including "Slotomania", from Caesar Interactive Entertainment (CIE).
The all-cash swoop highlights the growing number of Chinese companies snapping up overseas entertainment firms to feed a massive global market for mobile content.
Apart from Yunfeng Capital which was co-founded by Mr Ma, the 11 investors include Giant Investment (HK) Ltd, an affiliate of major gaming firm Shanghai Giant Network. They plan to raise a total of $4.5 billion for the deal and related costs, Giant’s unit Chongqing New Century Cruise Co. said in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange yesterday.
Gambling is illegal in China and the deal will not include CIE’s realmoney online gambling businesses, it said. Instead it involves playing with virtual currency which cannot be converted. –