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IPO Update: SciPlay Proposes Terms For IPO – SciPlay (Pending:SCPL) – Seeking Alpha


Quick Take

SciPlay (SCPL) has filed to raise $330 million in an IPO of its Class A common stock, per an amended registration statement.

The company develops and distributes casual mobile and social casino web video games.

Given the firm’s market position, growth rate, profitability, and positive cash flow, the IPO may be worth considering, although it will likely be difficult to obtain an allocation at the retail level.

Company & Technology

Las Vegas, Nevada-based SciPlay was founded in 2012 to develop data-driven and highly-targeted free-to-play games that capitalize on mobile ad revenue and the player’s desire to progress faster.

Management will be headed by Joshua J. Wilson, who has been with the firm since 2013 and was previously Senior Director of Social Products and Director of Social Gaming at Williams Interactive, which Scientific Games acquired in 2013.

SciPlay’s games were played by over 11.6 million players in Q4 2018 and include Jackpot Party Casino, Gold Fish Casino, Hot Shot Casino, Quick Hit Slots, MONOPOLY Slots, Bingo Showdown as well as 88 Fortunes Slots.

Below is a brief marketing video of the Jackpot Party Casino game:

Source: Jackpot Party Casino

SciPlay has access to a library of more than 1,500 iconic casino titles from Scientific Games and its subsidiaries, including titles and content from third-party licensed brands such as James Bond, Monopoly, Michael Jackson, Cheers, as well as The Godfather.

The company employs nearly 400 people and owns five game development studio facilities located in Cedar Falls, Iowa; Tel Aviv, Israel; Austin, Texas; as well as Chattanooga, Tennessee.

User Acquisition

The company provides access to its ‘free-to-play’ games to allow players to begin playing at no charge and receives revenue through ‘additional virtual coins, cards, and chips to enable more game play.’

Management says it plans ‘to use our core social casino games [which are evergeen and provide for more long-term appeal to players] to fuel our growth while expanding our presence in the rest of the casual games market.’

Sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue increased in 2018, per the table below:

Sales & Marketing

Expenses vs. Revenue







Sources: Company registration statement and IPO Edge

The sales efficiency rate, defined as how many dollars of additional gross profit are generated by each dollar of sales & marketing spend, was 0.6 in the most recent year.

Average Revenue per User [MAU] increased in 2018, per the table below:

Average Revenue Per

User (MAU)









Sources: Company registration statement and IPO Edge

Market & Competition

According to a 2018 market research report by Newzoo, the global games market was valued at $121.7 billion in 2017, grew by 13.3% to $137.9 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $180.1 billion by 2021.

This represents a CAGR of 10.3% between 2017 and 2021, as can be seen by the graphic below:

The digital games segment accounted for 91% or $125.3 billion of the total revenue in 2018.

During the same year, the mobile games segment grew by 25.5% year-over-year to $70.3 billion, accounting for 51% of the total games market revenue, as shown in the graphic below:

Major direct competitors that are developing casual mobile games include:

  • Playtika

  • Product Madness/Big Fish Games

  • Zynga (ZNGA)

  • DoubleUGames (192080.KQ)

  • Double Down Interactive

  • Glu Mobile (GLUU)

  • Activision Blizzard (ATVI)

  • Electronic Arts (EA)

  • Rovio (ROVIO.HE)

  • Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY)

Source: Sentieo

Financial Performance

SciPlay’s recent financial results can be summarized as follows:

  • Moderately growing topline revenue

  • Increased gross profit

  • Stable and high gross margin

  • Positive and growing EBITDA

  • Increased and high cash flow from operations

Below are relevant financial metrics derived from the firm’s registration statement:

Total Revenue


Total Revenue

% Variance vs. Prior






Gross Profit (Loss)


Gross Profit (Loss)

% Variance vs. Prior






Gross Margin


Gross Margin















Cash Flow From Operations


Cash Flow From Operations





Sources: Company registration statement and IPO Edge

As of December 31, 2018, the company had $10.0 million in cash and $56.3 million in total liabilities.

Free cash flow during the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, was $73.4 million.

IPO Details & Valuation Metrics

SCPL intends to sell 22 million shares of Class A stock at a midpoint price of $15.00 per share for gross proceeds of approximately $330 million, not including the sale of customary underwriter options.

Class A shareholders will be entitled to one vote per share and Class B shareholders will be entitled to ten votes per share.

Multiple classes of stock are a way for senior management or existing shareholders to retain voting power in the event of losing economic control of the company.

The S&P 500 Index no longer admits firms with multiple classes of stock into its index.

Assuming a successful IPO at the midpoint of the proposed price range, the company’s enterprise value at IPO would approximate $1.9 billion.

Excluding effects of underwriter options and private placement shares or restricted stock, if any, the float to outstanding shares ratio will be approximately 17.41%.

Per the firm’s most recent regulatory filing, it plans to use the net proceeds as follows:

$255.0 million to purchase LLC Interests from SG Holding I, which amount will be used by SG Holding I to make the Upfront License Payment required under the IP License Agreement;

$10.0 million to purchase LLC Interests from SciPlay Parent LLC, which amount will be used by SciPlay Parent LLC to pay fees and expenses in connection with the Transactions, including this offering;

$20.0 million to purchase LLC Interests from SciPlay Parent LLC, which amount will be used by SciPlay Parent LLC for general corporate purposes, including to pay a portion of contingent acquisition consideration that may become payable as a result of this offering; and

$25.2 million to purchase LLC interests from SG Holding I (based on the assumed offering and sale of an aggregate of 22,000,000 shares of Class A common stock in this offering at an initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus).

In addition, the firm will enter into a $150.0 million revolving credit facility in conjunction with the offering.

Management’s presentation of the company roadshow is available here.

Listed underwriters of the IPO are BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Macquarie Capital, RBC Capital Markets, Stifel, and Wedbush Securities.

Below is a table of relevant capitalization and valuation metrics:

Measure [TTM]


Market Capitalization at IPO


Enterprise Value


Price / Sales


EV / Revenue




Earnings Per Share


Total Debt To Equity


Float To Outstanding Shares Ratio


Proposed IPO Midpoint Price per Share


Net Free Cash Flow


Revenue Growth Rate


Sources: Company Prospectus, IPO Edge

Expected IPO Pricing Date: May 2, 2019.

An enhanced version of this article on my Seeking Alpha Marketplace research service IPO Edge includes my full commentary and opinion on the IPO.

Members of IPO Edge get the latest IPO research, news, and industry analysis. Get started with a free trial!

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


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