Shares of DoubleU Games, a Seoul-based social casino operator, soared to its daily permissive limit Tuesday after the company unveiled a deal to acquire US-based social casino games developer, Double Down LLC, for 825 million US dollars.
DoubleU Games rose 29.89 percent to 52,800 won, boosted by its deal that marked the largest overseas acquisition by a South Korean game firm.
Founded in 2012, DoubleU Games is not well known in South Korea, which prohibits online gambling, as the company targets clients abroad with its services operated in Facebook and other online platforms in countries like Hong Kong, Macao, China and Taiwan.
Through the purchase agreement disclosed in a regulatory filing, DoubleU Games will control 10.8 percent of the global market for social casino games. Double Down Interactive, the world's top developer of social casino games, posted annual sales of $277 million in 2016, far higher than DoubleU Games' 155.6 billion won($137 million).
A purchase agreement was signed between DoubleU Games' US subsidiary and International Game Technology PLC (IGT), which controls Double Down Interactive.
In London, IGT CEO Marco Sala said in a statement that his company would continue to participate in the growth of the social casino market through its strategic partnership with DoubleU Games.
"This transaction represents a unique and value-accretive partnership combining the operational excellence of DoubleU Games with IGT's world class slot content," said DoubleU Games CEO Kim Ga-Ram was quoted as saying.
"With this partnership, we are excited and confident about DoubleU Games' future as a global leader in social casino," Kim said. The sale is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.
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