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Chinese consortium buys Israel game firm for US$4.4 billion

A Chinese consortium, led by Shanghai-based Giant and a capital founded by Alibaba’s founder, announced yesterday the plan to acquire an Israel-based social and mobile game firm for US$4.4 billion, one of the biggest acquisition in the game industry.

A consortium, including game firm Giant and Yunfeng Capital which was founded by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, announced to acquire CIE’s (Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc) social and mobile games business in an all-cash deal for US$4.4 billion, according to Shenzhen-listed Giant.

Following the transaction, Playtika, the CIE’s game business, will continue running independently with its headquarters remaining in Herzliya, Israel with current management team.

Playtika, headquartered in Israel with additional studios and offices in Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Japan, Romania, Ukraine and the United States, is a leading global social and mobile free-to-play games company, with big data and social platform features.

The transaction is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter with regulatory approval.

CIE's World Series of Poker and real-money online gaming businesses will not be included in the transaction, and the virtual currency used on the Playtika platform will continue not to be exchangeable for real money, Giant said in a statement.

In June, Tencent agreed to buy Finnish game-maker Supercell Oy, creator of “Clash of Clans,” for US$8.6 billion from Japan-based Softbank.


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