Aussie fantasy sports firm hits listing obstacles

News on 16 Apr 2018

Australian fantasy sports provider PlayUp, recently in the news following its acquisition of Draftstars from CrownBet (see previous report) has reportedly encountered obstacles to its plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange and Nasdaq in the US.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported over the weekend that PlayUp planned to list on the Nasdaq in the US and ASX via a reverse takeover of the small Perth-based renewable energy company Mission NewEnergy.

However, it appears that Mission has disclosed to the US SEC that the Australian exchange had raised concerns about PlayUp’s ambitions.

“At present, the ASX has expressed concern to Mission NewEnergy regarding the proposed transaction and the suitability of the company for listing on the ASX post-completion of the transaction,” the company said in its US filings.

“As a result, Mission may be unable to satisfy any of the regulatory requirements of the ASX until ASX’s concerns are first addressed. Mission will continue to liaise with ASX to address these concerns. As such investors or potential investors should exercise caution.”

The Playup plan was apparently for Mission to wholly acquire PlayUp Australia in consideration for the issue of shares in Mission, which would then undertake a capital raising of new shares to generate at least $US 40 million.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that US filings show PlayUp could be valued at as much as $US 120 million as a result of the deal.

A MIssion spokesman confirmed to SMH that the company had lodged disclosures to the ASX, but revealed:

“Despite our lobbying and legal efforts, the ASX has for unknown reasons deemed the release unfit and as such blocked their release.”

PlayUp’s ambitions to launch its own cybercurrency called PlayChip via an Initial Coin Offering is also a key component in the deal with Mission, and will enable PlayUp to offer players a more direct and streamlined transaction vehicle.

The cybercurrency is referred to in the US filings submitted by PlayUp CEO Daniel Simic, who claimed that PlayUp will become an internationally dominant competitor in the fantasy sports vertical following the integration of blockchain and the dual listing PlayUp.

PlayUp is hoping to raise $US 40 million through the delayed Australian Securities Exchange listing, and is reportedly interested in acquiring Sydney-based ClassicBet subject to the approval of regulator the Northern Territory Racing Commission.

The Draftstars and ClassicBet acquisitions, once completed, are expected to boost PlayUp’s turnover by over A$ 200 million.

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