Chinese investor group-owned Playtika hires banks for $1b US IPO

Photo: Pixabay

Playtika Ltd, a mobile gaming company owned by a Chinese investor group, has hired investment banks to prepare for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) that could raise around $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Playtika’s preparations illustrate how some Chinese-owned companies continue to pursue U.S. listings, despite heightened scrutiny of their auditing standards by U.S. politicians and investors. Last month, the U.S. Senate passed a bill which, if enacted into law, would make U.S.-listed companies subject to inspection by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Playtika’s IPO would come amid a surge in demand for mobile gaming, as more consumers stay at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Playtika has hired Morgan Stanley and other banks to underwrite the IPO and is aiming to go public either later this year or early in 2021, the sources said, cautioning that the timing, valuation and deal size are subject to market conditions.

Israel-based Playtika, which is known for its casino-themed games and operates apps for poker and solitaire, could be valued at around $10 billion in the IPO, the sources added.

The sources requested anonymity as the matter is confidential. Playtika and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

In 2016, a group of Chinese investors led by Giant Network Group Co Ltd acquired Playtika from Caesars Interactive Entertainment for $4.4 billion.

Founded in 2010, Playtika currently boasts 27 million monthly active users, according to its website.

The IPO market has seen a significant pickup following the pandemic-induced stock market downturn, as investors place bets on newly listed companies benefiting from an expected economic recovery.

Yet some Chinese IPO hopefuls face uncertainty in the wake of Luckin Coffee Inc’s accounting issues. The Chinese coffee chain said in May that Nasdaq had notified it of plans to delist it from the exchange, a month after it disclosed that some employees had fabricated sales accounts.

Online grocery firm Dada Nexus Ltd said on Monday it aimed to raise up to $280.5 million on Nasdaq, the first major Chinese company IPO in the United States since tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated over the future of Hong Kong and the origins of the novel coronavirus.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.