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Nazara Technologies acquires OpenPlay for Rs 186.4 crore

Nazara Technologies on Friday said it has acquired Hyderabad-based OpenPlay for Rs 186.41 crore.

Nazara’s Board has approved the acquisition of OpenPlay Technologies from its existing shareholders – Sreeram Reddy Vanga and Unnati Management Consultants LLP – at a consideration of Rs 186.41 crore, in one or more tranches, a regulatory filing said.

“In the first tranche of the strategic investment, the company shall acquire 23.30 per cent of the issued and paid-up share capital of OpenPlay for a consideration of Rs 43.43 crores, by end of Q2 of FY 2021-22,” it added.

The remaining tranches will be completed during the financial year 2021-22.

The nature of consideration (i.e. cash or swap of shares) for the second tranche will be determined by Nazara at its sole discretion at the time of closing, the filing noted.

“OpenPlay offers a strong tech and product platform for the company to build a network of skill gaming destinations operating on one common platform under the proven leadership of the open play team. Open play with its base of current users brings users and liquidity to attract more players in the network,” the filing said.

OpenPlay Technologies’ turnover was at Rs 53.48 crore (based on audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2021). It operates a multi-game consumer gaming platform under the ‘Classic Games’ brand that hosts skill-based games.

OpenPlay is led by Sreeram Reddy Vanga. In his previous avatar, he founded and led CozyGames, and was also part of the early team at PartyGaming that went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

“OpenPlay currently has an annualised gross gaming revenue run rate of Rs 80 crore and is operating on EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) positive margins. With its recent launch of influencer-hosted skill gaming tournaments, the company is poised to grow its user base at a rapid pace in coming quarters,” it said.

Nazara Chief Executive Officer Manish Agarwal said the OpenPlay acquisition offers an opportunity for Nazara to build a network of skill gaming destinations operating on one common tech platform under the proven leadership of Sreeram and his team at OpenPlay.

“Sreeram is a successful entrepreneur globally in online real money gaming and we are excited that he will be leading Nazara’s growth in this sector, he added.

Vanga said he was excited to join the “Friends of Nazara Network” and to build India’s largest vernacular social gaming and entertainment platform.

“Our technology complemented by Nazara’s positioning in the gaming industry in India is the perfect combination for this endeavour, he added.

The ‘Friends of Nazara’ network comprises established gaming companies in which Nazara holds majority stakes and works actively with existing founders and management teams to rapidly achieve scale.

These companies include Nodwin Gaming and Sportskeeda in Esports Next Wave Multimedia, developer of World Cricket Championship (WCC), the largest mobile-based cricket simulation game, and Paper Boat Apps, developers of popular gamified early learning app Kiddopia. PTI


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