The Israeli developer Plarium has been acquired for $500 million by Aristocrat, an Australian casino company seeking to expand into the mobile games business.
According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, the deal is equivalent to 10x Plarium's annual earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation. The company's portfolio is focused on free-to-play mobile games, like Sparta: War of Empires and Vikings: War of Clans.
Plarium is based in Herzliya in Israel, but it has 1,200 employees spread across offices in Europe, the US, and other locations in Israel. Avraham Shalel, its co-founder and CEO, will continue to lead the company once the acquisition has completed, alongside the 12 people that comprise its existing management team.
For Aristocrat, the Plarium acquisition is an attempt to diversify, expanding beyond its core business of gambling machines and social casino games. Indeed, its standing in the social casino market was vastly improved by the 2012 acquisition of Product Madness, which is now one of the five biggest publishers in the sector.
Once the Plarium acquisition is completed, it will represent 22% of Aristocrat's annual revenue, based on its results from March 2017.
"Aristocrat has continued to deliver significant growth and outstanding results in our Digital social casino business," said Aristocrat CEO Trevor Croker. "The acquisition of Plarium allows Aristocrat to expand our addressable market into logical adjacent segments in the fast growing mobile gaming market."