With Acies Shareholders OK, PLAYSTUDIOS Set to go Public

With Acies Shareholders OK, PLAYSTUDIOS Set to go Public
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A SPAC merger that was announced in January moved a step closer to finalizing the deal when Acies Acquisition Corp. shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve its proposed merger with PLAYSTUDIOS, Inc.

PLAYSTUDIOS is described as a “developer of free-to-play casual games for mobile and social platforms that offer real-world rewards to loyal players.” Once the deal between Acies and PLAYSTUDIOS closes, PLAYSTUDIOS will become publicly traded on the NASDAQ.

At the time the Acies-PLAYSTUDIO combination was announced, the transaction valued PLAYSTUDIOS at approximately $1.1 billion.

For a stretch from 2020 through 2021, SPACs were among the hottest trends on Wall Street as an alternative to traditional initial public offerings. In many SPAC deals (the acronym stands for special purpose acquisition company), the driver is the acquiring company (aka blank check company), which is already publicly traded, albeit with no goods or services of its own.

A SPAC targets, in a friendly merger, a privately held company that is conducting some business and aspires to go public. While the acquiring company typically has no goods or services of its own, it is bankrolled sufficiently to make the merger or acquisition happen and provide for expansion and operating opportunities for the target company.

Former MGM CEO is Chairman of Acies

Acies is of interest in the gaming world because its chairman of the board is Jim Murren, the former CEO of MGM Resorts International. It lists its office in Manhattan Beach, California. In February, Murren announced that he had put together a second SPAC — Acies Acquisition Corp. II — that will target a wide range of entertainment and hospitality businesses, including iGaming and sports betting companies.

PLAYSTUDIOS is led by a veteran Las Vegas executive, Andrew Pascal. When previously working in the casino industry, Pascal developed a program of free-to-play games where users could earn points that could be redeemed for actual perks, such as meals, at Las Vegas resorts. PLAYSTUDIOS’ current model is similar.

“We are proud to reach this significant milestone in the merger and would like to thank our shareholders for their support throughout the process,” Edward King, co-CEO of Acies, said in the release.

New Games Coming?

“We are excited to support PLAYSTUDIOS as they embark on their journey as a publicly listed company. We believe the company is well-positioned to capitalize on its strategic goals to accelerate growth through continuing to optimize the core portfolio, launch new games and pursue value accretive acquisitions,” added Dan Fetters, co-CEO of Acies.

The two sides expect the merger to close soon. The new company will go under the PLAYSTUDIOS name and be traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol “MYPS.”

In the Acies shareholder voting last week, the company reported that 97% of the votes cast at the special meeting were to adopt the merger agreement.

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