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In a latest development, a Chinese consortium that includes game developer Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co Ltd and e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd founder Jack Ma has agreed to acquireCaesars Interactive Entertainment Inc’s online games unit for $4.4 billion in cash.
It is to be mentioned that Caesars Interactive Entertainment is currently owned by Caesars Acquisition Co (CAC) and Caesars Entertainment Corp. The sale will be a boon to the two affiliated companies, which are looking for cash as they embark on a complex merger. The deal follows a period of exclusive negotiations between Caesars Interactive Entertainment and Giant’s consortium.Caesars Entertainment’s main operating unit, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co Inc (CEOC), is currently involved in an $18 billion bankruptcy and is seeking creditor approval for a restructuring plan. The transaction between CAC and the Caesars Entertainment parent is part of a complex web of deals that have come under scrutiny by CEOC’s creditors.
Chinese companies are eager to expand beyond their home country, which boasts the world’s largest online gaming market. In June, Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s biggest gaming group, agreed to buy a majority stake in ‘Clash of Clans’ mobile game maker Supercell from SoftBank Group Corp in an $8.6 billion deal.
Caesars’ online games business, known as Playtika, makes its games such as Bingo Blitz and Slotomania available on Apple Inc’s App Store. Playatika will continue to operate independently with its own management team and its headquarters remaining in Herzliya, Israel, following the deal, the companies said.