Joffre Capital Seek Financing to Gain Control of Playtika
Joffre Capital, a tech-focused buyout firm started by Chinese dealmakers, is seeking financing to fund a potential bid for control of mobile game developer Playtika Holding Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said.
The investment firm is considering boosting its Playtika stake to become the majority shareholder, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It is studying a purchase of Chinese online gaming tycoon Shi Yuzhu’s remaining holding in the firm, the people said.
Joffre Capital has been in talks with several lenders about funding for a potential transaction, the people said. Shares of Playtika pared earlier losses and were down 2.6% at the close Monday in New York, giving the company a market value of about $5.3 billion. The company has lost nearly half its value over the past year.
The private equity firm agreed last month to acquire 25.7% of Israel-based Playtika from entities related to Shi for $2.2 billion. It’s paying $21 per share for the stake. Shi’s affiliates will still own roughly 34% of Playtika after the transaction, which hasn’t been completed yet.
Playtika said in February it was working with Raine Group on a strategic review that could include a sale or other potential transactions.
The company makes online and mobile games with Las Vegas themes — including “Caesars Slots” and “Slotomania” — as well as the popular “Bingo Blitz” and “Poker Heat.” It’s based in Herzliya, Israel, a coastal city north of Tel Aviv that’s become a technology hub.
Any deal would add to the $183 billion in private equity takeovers of listed companies this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty Joffre Capital will decide to proceed with a transaction, the people said.
A representative for Playtika declined to comment. A spokesperson for Giant Network Group Co., the online game developer controlled by Shi, referred to the company’s announcements, without elaborating. Officials at Joffre Capital didn’t respond to emails and LinkedIn messages seeking comment.
Joffre Capital’s founding partners include James Lu, a former executive at Chinese search engine Baidu Inc., according to his LinkedIn profile. He was part of the investor group that bought gay-dating app Grindr from Chinese internet company Kunlun Tech Co. in 2020.
Investing.com, the financial news and data website, and Coins.ph, a provider of crypto wallet services in the Philippines, are among Joffre Capital’s portfolio companies.
Joffre Capital was started by a group of entrepreneurs and experienced executives in technology and finance who have held senior positions at Amazon Inc., Baidu, Blackstone Inc., Warburg Pincus and Yahoo, according to its website, which doesn’t name any of the management team.
A press release earlier this year said Joffre Capital has “multiple billion dollars under management,” with a presence across the US, Europe and Asia and a track record in areas including digital media, e-commerce, interactive entertainment, education technology and enterprise software. It didn’t provide further specifics.