[THE INVESTOR] KOSDAQ-listed game developer DOUBLEUGAMES said on April 18 that it has recently acquired US social casino game firm Double Down Interactive for US$825 million -- the largest overseas purchase by a Korean game company.
Currently, Double Down Interactive and DOUBLEUGAMES own 7.3 percent and 3.5 percent in the global social casino game market, respectively. Their merger will create the No. 2 player in the more than US$4 billion market after Israel’s Playtika.
“Our next goal is to become the No. 1 in the global social casino market as soon as possible,” DoubleUGames CEO Kim Ga-ram said at a press conference in Seoul. “We will play a leading role in the expansion of the market overall.”
DOUBLEUGAMES is buying the firm from UK gaming device maker International Game Technology which bought it in 2012 for about US$500 million.
Double Down Interactive posted annual sales of US$277 million last year, which compares to DoubleUGames’ 155.6 billion won (US$136 million).
Following the acquisition, the firm that has thus far launched in the US, Europe and Australia plans to enter other overseas markets such as China, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Due to regulatory hurdles, it has no plans to launch the casino games in Korea for some time.
Shares of DOUBLEUGAMES soared almost 30 percent immediately after the news. They closed at 52,800 won, up 29.89 percent from the previous day.
The firm made a hot stock debut in November 2015 when the IPO price was 65,000 won. But the stocks had almost halved until recently due to sluggish sales and growing marketing costs.
By Park Ga-young (email@example.com)