Posted on: January 8, 2023, 07:01h.
Last updated on: January 8, 2023, 07:44h.
A $350 million deal that would have made PlayUp a publicly traded company has fallen through. That’s according to a document a special purchase acquisition company (SPAC) filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
IG Acquisition Corp. (IGAC) said in an 8-K filing that it notified the Australian-based gaming company it will terminate the business combination agreement (BCA) the two sides had reached in September. The deal, had it been consummated, would have put PlayUp stock on the Nasdaq exchange.
The first sign of trouble came a month ago. IGAC reported on Dec. 8 that the parties amended the agreement after IGAC said PlayUp had failed to provide audited financial statements and other documents on a timely basis. That amendment opened the door for IGAC to find another company with which to merge.
However, IGAC apparently was unable to find another business partner.
The board of directors of IGAC has determined that IGAC will not be able to complete the transactions contemplated by the BCA or any other initial business combination within the time period required by its Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended,” IGAC said in its 8-K.
Because of that, IGAC will shut down by Wednesday, the filing stated.
PlayUp did not respond to a Casino.org email with a comment on the matter.
IGAC Liked PlayUp’s ‘Vision for the Future’
Back in September, IGAC officials said they had looked for two years to identify a sports betting company that would be most likely to have long-term success.
In a statement at the time, venture capitalist Bradley Tusk, IGAC’s chairman, said, “PlayUp is the closest to achieving our shared vision for the future of online betting.” That included offering a variety of online gaming products on a single app and with a single wallet that could be accessed in any market where it’s licensed globally.
Tusk would have served as PlayUp’s board chairman if the deal closed. IGAC CEO Christian Goode, a former Genting Americas executive, would have become PlayUp’s US division president.
PlayUp’s Woes Continue
The breakup with IGAC represents the latest blow for a company that’s been trying to grow in the United States.
In 2021, PlayUp tried to negotiate a sale of its business to cryptocurrency exchange operator FTX for $450 million. That deal falling through led to the company filing a lawsuit against Dr. Laila Mintas, who was PlayUp’s US CEO during those talks. PlayUp accused Mintas of sabotaging the deal, and Mintas filed a countersuit.
Those lawsuits continue in a Nevada federal court.
While PlayUp couldn’t close the FTX deal, it did get the crypto company to invest $35 million last January. FTX, of course, has since made headlines for its exchange’s multi-billion-dollar collapse. That led to its filing for bankruptcy and its CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, facing federal charges.
PlayUp is licensed to operate in Colorado and New Jersey. It offers sports betting in both states and iGaming in New Jersey. However, it faces a denial of its application for a sports betting license in Ohio after regulators in that state last month said they found PlayUp had offered an illegal gaming product in the state.
PlayUp has requested a hearing on the matter. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will rule on the application after the hearing judge issues their report.