nalysts said both deals were less risky for shareholders than Playtech’s original proposal to spend 95 million euros buying assets from Mr Sagi and acquiring the office block for up to us$ 16.2 million. However, Nick Batram at Peel Hunt said “more clarity” was required over the complex licensing deal that propels Playtech into social gaming a growing us$ 8 billion a year market where players on sites such as Facebook can play games for free or exchange real money for virtual credits.
He said such deals with Mr Sagi “hardly help allay the fears of those concerned about corporate governance. Rather than clarify the situation with related parties, the software licensing deals appear to cloud the picture further.” Mr Batram still has a buy recommendation on the shares.
Analysts expressed concerns that, aside from a reference to 150 software developers and two brands covered by the agreement Slotsfarm and Raminoz Playtech gave scant details on what it was actually licensing from Mr Sagi. He will receive 20 % royalties on the social gaming element of the software deal.
A Playtech spokesman would only say: “Our announcement meets the disclosure standards of the main market.”
Simon Davies, an analyst at house broker Cannacord Genuity, said that compared with the first proposed transaction: “The licensing deal looks sensibly low cost/low risk.”
Rival gambling businesses have burnt their fingers on social media assets, with 888, for example, writing off us$ 20.7 million on Mytopia.
The Camden office comes with nine appartments to be used by Playtech executives shuttling between its headquarters in the Isle of Man and operations in Israel, Estonia, the Philippines and Bulgaria. The spokesman said the appartments would "save on hotel bills". As previously announced, Sagi will draw a 1 euro per year adviser’s fee.