NetPlay TV PLC (AIM: NPT) announced raising £12.84 million before expenses in a placing and agreement on an interactive games supply deal to Playtech Ltd for five years.
The 'live' interactive TV gambling specialist said it has conditionally placed 58,352,476 new shares at 22 pence each to strengthen the company's balance sheet and provide capital for future growth.
The new shares, which will be placed with investment company Directforce Trading Ltd, will represent approximately 29.9 percent of the enlarged capital. The beneficiary of Directforce also has a beneficial interest in a significant shareholder of Playtech Ltd.
The memorandum of understanding with Playtech provides for distribution of NetPlay games via both Playtech's online customers and retail clients. NetPlay TV will supply a number of 'live' games including: Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Live Bingo and a Live Fixed odds draw. As part of the agreement, NetPlay TV will migrate all of its services onto the Playtech technology platform, this agreement will also run for a period of five years.
NetPlay CEO Martin Higginson said: “This agreement will take NetPlay TV to new heights. The investment of £12.8m 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.”
Only last month, the group reported a strong set of preliminary results for the 12 months ended December 31 2008, with revenues up 118 percent at £19.8 million and a move to positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to £2.4 million, from a £1.7 million loss. Netplay also confirmed that Q1 2009 trading was in line with budget.
2008 was a busy year for the interactive gaming services company, with a string of acquisitions completed and the launch of a number of new services to extend its reach into business to business (B2B) solutions for retail, television and online partners.
NetPlay TV operates a number of interactive gaming services including SuperCasino.com, Bingos.com and EuroTeleMillions.com which air across various Freeview, Sky and FreeSat Channels.
Since January, Netplay has launched “Daily SuperDraw” on Channel 5, “Beat the Brain” on FX Channels with Fox International, completed the acquisition of Two Way Gaming and entered into an agreement to produce and manage Virgin Media’s “Challenge Jackpot”.
"NetPlay TV has come of age. The business has been transformed during the course of the year into a significantly larger interactive media business,” stated Netplay TV’s Non-Executive Chairman, Clive Jones when commenting on the full year results. “The demand for "live" gaming is starting to gather momentum and we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this major opportunity. The UK Government is committed to the delivery of a fast Internet service for all and, as such, TV quality interactive programming is now available to an increased and growing number of UK homes."
Jones, who was appointed last month, is a broadcasting veteran, having started his career in the industry in 1978 when he produced award winning news programmes and documentaries for ITV. He then moved into management firstly as an dditor of TVAM and then as managing director of Central Television, and the London News Network.
He has held a number of prestigious roles in the media industry such as chief executive of both ITV News and Carlton UK Television. He is currently non-executive chairman of GMTV and a non-executive director of S4C, as well as Governor of the National Film and Television School.