Playmob acquired by PlanetPlay parent to create new green video games powerhouse

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Sphaira Innovation, a not-for-profit harnessing the power of people and technology to make positive change, has acquired video games market insights specialist Playmob.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, creates a formal relationship between Playmob and Sphaira Innovation’s PlanetPlay, which is bringing the games industry and players together to fight climate change.

Playmob CEO Jude Ower – who now becomes Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Sphaira UK – has worked closely with PlanetPlay on the launch of its Make Green Tuesday Moves campaign, which aims to help games studios and players make important real-world impact in the fight against climate change.

Alongside PlanetPlay CEO Rhea Loucas, Ower also recently led a games industry delegation to the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Climate Promise event at UN HQ in New York – an initiative to support countries as they increase their climate action contributions.

Meanwhile, Ower is also the Co-Founder of the Playing For The Planet Alliance and Co-Author of the recently published book ‘Gaming for Good: Unlocking the Power of Gaming to Create a Better World for Us All’, which also supports green projects via PlanetPlay.

And in 2021, she worked with the UNDP on the ‘People’s Climate Vote’, the biggest survey of consumer attitudes towards climate change, which was facilitated through Playmob’s innovative game insights platform and reached 33 million gamers worldwide. The survey had 1.2 million validated votes in 50 countries around the world.

She is speaking this week at the UK Government’s Department for Business & Trade GREAT FUTURES event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she is discussing how the UK video games industry can work with Saudi Arabia in areas such as gaming and sustainability. She is joined at the event by Sphaira Innovation UK Chairman and Sphaira Innovation AG Board Member Dirk van Daele.

Working alongside PlanetPlay under the Sphaira Innovation umbrella, Playmob is again working with the UNDP on a new and even more ambitious international study of whether people consider climate change to be a global emergency, and how they would like their countries to tackle the issue.

Sphaira Innovation UK CSO Jude Ower said: “Playmob’s mission is closely aligned with PlanetPlay, and we are delighted to announce that we are merging our important efforts, and Playmob is being acquired by PlanetPlay. Through the projects we have been working on together, it is clear that our partnership is a strong move for our industry and pushing the sustainability x gaming agenda forward. PlanetPlay and Sphaira is the right home for Playmob and we are excited for the next part of our green gaming journey together.”

Sphaira Innovation UK Chairman & Sphaira Innovation AG Board Member Dirk van Daele offered: “After having been accepted by major game studios and music artists in supporting our not-for-profit eco donate platform, we are excited for Playmob and Jude to join us. Her efforts and established track record in ‘playing for good’ will help us to scale even faster for the benefit of the climate.”

PlanetPlay CEO Rhea Loucas added: “PlanetPlay as a disruptive NPO is constantly seeking innovative solutions for engaging billions of gamers as part of our mission to combat climate change. We have already been working closely for a long time with Playmob and Jude Ower on a few exciting projects; with the acquisition, we will be able to join forces and achieve our goal together. With three billion players around the world, and through the combination of our gaming and sustainability efforts, we can all collectively make a difference for our planet.”

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AGS Enters Into Definitive Agreement To Be Acquired By Brightstar Capital Partners for Approximately $1.1 Billion

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PlayAGS, Incorporated (NYSE: AGS) (“AGS” or the “Company”), a global gaming supplier of high-performing slot, table, and interactive products, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Brightstar Capital Partners (“Brightstar”), a middle market private equity firm focused on investing in industrial, manufacturing, and services businesses.

The Company’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved, and recommended that the Company’s stockholders approve, the agreement. AGS shareholders will receive $12.50 per share in cash. The per share purchase price represents a 41% premium to the Company’s volume-weighted average share price over the last 90 days and a 40% premium to AGS’ closing price on May 8, 2024.

AGS is a global company focused on creating a diverse mix of entertaining gaming experiences for every kind of player. Powered by high-performing slot products, an expansive table products portfolio, and highly rated online casino content, the Company believes it offers an unmatched value proposition for its casino partners.

“We are very pleased to reach this agreement, which we believe provides our stockholders with compelling, certain cash value. Joining forces with Brightstar represents an exciting new chapter for AGS and our mission to provide exceptional gaming solutions for our operator partners,” said David Lopez, CEO & President of AGS. “With Brightstar’s resources and strategic guidance, we believe AGS will be well-positioned to make targeted investments in R&D, top talent, operations, and industry-leading innovation, which should accelerate our global footprint.”

“We look forward to working with David and the AGS team to capitalize on opportunities by taking a long-term approach to creating value,” said Andrew Weinberg, Founder & CEO of Brightstar. “AGS has a strong pipeline of new products, and we believe the Company’s innovative approach to game development provides significant potential for continued growth.”

“We have been impressed by AGS’ award-winning products, differentiated culture, and outstanding reputation in this expanding industry,” said Roger Bulloch, Partner at Brightstar. “We trust that partnering with AGS and executing on our shared vision can accelerate the Company’s ability to create even greater value for its customers and players around the world.”

Macquarie Capital is serving as financial advisor and Cooley LLP is serving as legal counsel to AGS. Jefferies LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to Brightstar. Barclays and Citizens JMP Securities are also serving as financial advisors to Brightstar. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Brightstar.

First Quarter 2024 Financial Results

In light of the proposed transaction, AGS has canceled its previously announced conference call to discuss its first quarter 2024 financial results, which had been scheduled for Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Additionally, AGS will not be issuing a quarterly earnings release. The Company expects to file its 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2024 with the SEC later today.

Timing and Approvals

The proposed transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2025 is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by a majority of AGS stockholders. Upon completion of the transaction, AGS will become a privately held company and shares of AGS common stock will no longer be listed on any public market.


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