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Is India’s biggest online poker site, Adda52, going to see a change of ownership soon? According to a news report posted on VCCircle, it`s likely!
The site has reliable (yet anonymous) sources claiming that Delta Corp that owns Adda52’s parent company, Gaussian Networks, is in talks with several potential buyers. Featuring at the top of this list is Mumbai-based game developer, Nazara Technologies, with whom Delta Corp already shares business interests.
According to the report, Delta Corp had roped in the global investment bank, Moelis & Company, to explore a potential sale six months back. While Nazara remains the frontrunner for the online gaming business, Delta Corp is considering other buyers also.
We reached out to both Nazara Technologies and Delta Corp for a comment on this report but did not elicit any response or confirmation till the time of posting this update.
If this news is substantiated, then this will be a significant move by Delta Corp, especially at a time when online gaming has been the only significant revenue generator for the company. Its casino and hospitality businesses have been non-operational for almost six months.
Adda52.com alone reported revenue of ₹162.14 Crore in the financial year ending March 2020.
Any potential sale could also turn a quick profit for Delta Corp that had acquired Adda52.com in August 2016 in a part cash part stock deal valued over ₹200 Crores. The transaction was finally completed in 2017. Market experts estimate that if sold soon, Adda52 should be valued between ₹350 to ₹450 Crores or even more, given its increasing revenues during the lockdown. In other words, selling off Gaussian Networks at this juncture will translate into a profitable proposition for the cash-strapped Delta Corp.
With the COVID-lockdown pushing gaming traffic to a high, Adda52, and its online rummy vertical, Adda52 Rummy, have posted healthy profits this year. In May, we had pointed out how, despite a sizeable drop in quarterly net profit for January – March 31, 2020, Delta Corp reported a net profit of ₹29.04 Crores, primarily because of the spike in online gaming revenues of Adda52.
Delta Corp, India’s only BSE-listed gaming company, had struck the deal to acquire Gaussian Networks Pvt. Ltd, the parent company of Adda52.com, in August 2016. Delta had paid ₹47.30 Crores to Gaussian Networks to make the cash purchase of 26% of Gaussian’s share. The deal was finally closed in June 2017 after Delta bought the remaining 74% of the shares in preference shares worth ₹176.58 Crores.
Over time, Adda52 has further consolidated its position as the country’s biggest online poker site, and even its rummy platform, Adda52 Rummy, has been delivering consistent growth.
The first hints that Delta Corp was open to selling off Adda52.com to an interested party if the price was right surfaced in July last year. In a conference call with analysts, CFO of Delta Corp, Harik Dhebar, revealed that Delta Corp had kept Adda52 a separate subsidiary i.e., Gaussian Networks, instead of absorbing it into the parent company with the sole intention of keeping open the option of monetizing the business later at the right valuation.
Delta Corp and the Nitish Mittersain-founded Nazara Technologies already have a working relationship, as both companies are stakeholders in the Bengaluru-based real-money fantasy sports venture, HalaPlay.
Delta Corp had invested ₹15.50 Crores in HalaPlay last year in March, while also divesting its own fantasy sports site LeagueAdda to the fantasy start-up. Nazara, on the other hand, was already an investor in HalaPlay then, and this June, it increased its stake in HalaPlay by buying out Kae Capital’s share worth ₹14.6 Crores.
Nazara has been planning an Initial Public Offer (IPO) launch for a few years now, and in the run-up on those plans, it has been on an acquisition and investment frenzy. Over the past two years alone, it has acquired more than 13 sports media and gaming start-ups, including Nodwin Gaming, Next Wave Multimedia, Sportskeeda, Paper Boat Apps, Mastermind Sports, Moonglabs Technologies, Bakbuck, CrimzonCode, InstaSportz, and NZWorld.
If Nazara does manage to add Adda52 to his portfolio, this will add significant ammunition to its real-money gaming portfolio, making it a top player in the business.