5 year partnership deal for NetPlayTV plc and Playtech

Making the industry headlines Thursday was a joint announcement of a 5 year partnership deal from AIM-listed companies NetPlayTV plc and Playtech plc.

NetPlay, a 'live' interactive TV gambling specialist, will be migrating its online and interactive gambling operations such as Supercasino.com, Bingos.com and EuroTeleMillions to the Playtech gambling software platform, and in return Playtech licensees will be given access to Netplay's successful live gaming products. Netplay will also be boosting its future growth potential with a GBP 12.5 million cash injection raised from the sale of shares.

The deal gives Netplay access to the full suite of Playtech products including Casino, Poker, Bingo, TV and Mobile games.

NetPlay's Bingo migration from its current software provider will significantly increase Playtech's Bingo liquidity and boost Playtech's bingo offering. In addition, the agreement will position Playtech as a market leader in Live Gaming following its strategy to diversify its products portfolio and create cross selling opportunities for its licensees, a Playtech statement explained.

NetPlay TV announced that it has conditionally placed 58 352 476 new ordinary shares of 5p each at a price of 22 pence per share, raising gross proceeds of GBP 12 837 545 which will be used to strengthen the company's balance sheet and provide capital for future growth. These new shares, which will be placed with investment company Directforce Trading Limited will represent approximately 29.9 percent of the company's enlarged share capital. The beneficiary of Directforce also has a beneficial interest in a significant shareholder of Playtech Limited.

The deal requires the approval of Netplay shareholders, and the company has received irrevocable commitments from certain shareholders representing 43.4 percent of the its current issued share capital to vote in favour of the resolutions to be proposed at a General Meeting.

Martin Higginson, CEO of NetPlay TV plc, said: "This agreement will take NetPlay TV to new heights. The investment of GBP12.8 million into our business, along with the strategic relationship, both in terms of distribution and technology with Playtech, will enable us to drive the development of our converged gaming solutions.

"'Live' gaming is being demanded by more and more customers and this agreement will allow us to deliver our products to a much wider audience."

Mor Weizer, Playtech's CEO, added: ""We have been looking for a partner in the 'live' interactive gaming market for some time. Our clients and their customers are demanding 'live' products and therefore it is logical we offer them the best services available. This agreement enables us to offer our licencees unique TV quality gaming shows, this will also enrich their offering to gamers, and will also boost Playtech's Bingo offering, increasing Playtech's bingo network liquidity significantly.

"We are extremely happy to partner with NetPlay TV Plc who are the clear leader in 'live' interactive gaming. We see this agreement as a natural step in Playtech's business strategy of entering into the interactive TV gaming market and further supplements the acquisition last year of interactive mass-multiplayer live gaming assets.

"We believe 'live' gaming is going to be very big in the coming years and,as such, a significant investment in this business makes perfect sense."

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