PlayStudios To Go Public After $1.1bn Valuation SPAC Merger

PlayStudios, with a $1.1 billion valuation and a binding merger agreement with Acies Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition firm, is the latest company to unveil its plans to go public.

The merged business will be called PlayStudios following the completion of the deal and will remain listed on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol ‘MYPS.’

Chairman Jim Murren, formerly Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, and co-CEOs Dan Fetters and Edward King, formerly Managing Directors of Morgan Stanley, are heading the management team of Acies.

PlayStudios is headed by Andrew Pascal, founder, chairman, and CEO, who, along with his new founder-led management team, will continue to lead the merged company.

Deal expected to close during Q2 2021

The deal was approved by each company’s board of directors, with the go-ahead now expected by Acies’ shareholders. The agreement, which is scheduled to conclude during the second quarter of 2021, also relies on some regulatory approvals being issued.

Pascal said: “From our inception, we set out to create wonderfully compelling games that were free-to-play and offered real-world rewards.

“We’ve now demonstrated the positive, long-term impact of this value proposition with our current portfolio of apps, and we’re poised to carry that success into new products and new game genres. 

“Becoming a public company and securing the resources and support of key institutional investors will enable us to accelerate our growth as we launch new products, pursue new acquisition opportunities, and scale up our unique playAwards loyalty program.”

The acquisition entails an enterprise value of $1.1 billion, or 2.5x estimated 2022 sales of $435 million, or 12.3x pro forma adjusted EBITDA of $90 million, for PlayStudios.

At least 89.1 million ACAC common stock shares and up to $150 million in cash will be considered for PlayStudios. Furthermore, the funds and accounts operated by BlackRock, ClearBridge Investments, Neuberger Berman Funds and MGM Resorts International are the leading participants in the $250 million PIPE, at a price of $10 per share of Acies’ common stock immediately prior to the closing of the deal.

The company is projected to have approximately $290m of cash and a public equity currency after giving effect to the deal to speed up the growth strategies of PlayStudios, which include expanding product creation and acquisitions of other gaming and related businesses.

PlayStudio shareholders percentage

Upon closure, and assuming that none of the public stockholders of Acies elect to redeem their shares, current shareholders of PlayStudios are expected to own 64 percent of the combined entity, the sponsors of Acies are expected to own 3 percent, PIPE participants 18 percent, and public stockholders 15 percent.

“Within today’s vast and growing games market, PlayStudios is unique in offering their audience the opportunity to play for fun and earn for real. They know how to make engaging and enduring games, and stand apart in having harnessed the power of a robust and full-featured loyalty program,” commented Murren. 

“The focus is now to take PlayStudios platform and super-charge its growth. We have abundant initiatives, including targeted, strategic acquisitions; an expansion of the rewards program into new categories such as sports entertainment; and the exploration of opening the playAwards platform under a loyalty-as-a-service model. We look forward to leveraging Acies’ M&A knowledge and broad relationships for the benefit of PlayStudios and its shareholders.”