Shanghai Giant-Led Group Buys Caesars Playtika for $4.4 Billion

A group of Chinese investors that includes Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co. agreed to purchase Caesars Entertainment Corp.s Playtika Ltd. social- and mobile-games business in a $4.4 billion all-cash deal.

Among the companies joining Shanghai Giant in the buying group are Jack Mas Yunfeng Capital, Giant Investment Ltd. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., the purchasers said Sunday in a statement. Playtika will remain independently run from its headquarters in Herliya, Israel, according to the statement.

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, said Robert Antokol, co-founder and chief executive officer of Playtika.

The deal gives Shanghai Giant and its co-acquirers a foothold in a fast-growing segment of the gaming industry, as users turn to mobile applications over the PC- and console-based systems that once held sway. For Caesars, its an exit from a business that it bought in 2011 via the Caesars Interactive Entertainment arm.

Playtika today is a highly profitable growth company with more than 1,300 employees, multiple top grossing titles and millions of daily users, said Mitch Garber, chairman and chief executive officer of Caesars Interactive.

Raine Group LLC served as Caesars Interactives financial adviser and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal adviser. CODE Advisers LLC was financial adviser and Fenwick & West LLP served as legal adviser to Shanghai Giant.

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