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October 23, 2020

Play Magnus seeks listing on Oslo Stock Exchange

3 min read

The Play Magnus Group has applied to list on the Oslo Børs’ Merkur Market. 

Founded in Norway by four-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, the Play Magnus Group is a global leader in the chess industry focused on providing the premier digital experiences for the millions of chess players and students around the world. The company offers eLearning and entertainment services via its market-leading brands: chess24, Chessable, CoChess, Play Magnus and the Champions Chess Tour.

The technology company plans to raise capital in connection with the listing. Among the cornerstone investors are the American asset manager Luxor Capital, DNB Capital Management, TIN Fonder, and TD Veen. 

“The company has developed enormously from a standalone app to becoming an industry leader with an ecosystem of innovative chess services. Our ambition is to create the world’s best experiences for playing, learning, and watching chess. This is by far the biggest investment ever in chess, and a listing on Merkur Market will secure a solid platform for further growth,” said Anders Brandt, the co-founder and chairman of the board of the Play Magnus Group.

The Play Magnus Group has a 12-month revenue run rate of approximately USD 7 million and demonstrated the organic growth in the first half of this year of approximately 120 percent. 

“The market is growing, and we are in an early phase which requires further investments. We will invest heavily in technology development in the future and the company does not rule out further acquisitions. We will build on the success of the 2020 Chess Tour and further develop this to its full potential.” he added. 

The Play Magnus Group offers services for everyone to play, watch, and learn chess. Professional players can teach, create content, and compete on the company’s various platforms. 

The Group’s services consist of the Play Magnus App Suite, chess24, Chessable, and CoChess. In addition, in 2020 the Group launched a professional online chess competition, the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, which gained significant interest and captured viewers worldwide. 

The Play Magnus Group has more than 3 million registered users across platforms and approximately 35,000 monthly paying customers worldwide. 

In connection with the listing on Merkur Market on the Oslo Stock Exchange, the plan is to raise approximately NOK 400 million (USD ~42 million) in a combined primary and secondary offering. 

“The company has a unique vision and strategy for bringing chess to a wider audience.  Our model will help many more chess players and coaches to be able to make a living from chess. The company has just started on this journey and I look forward to continuing to be a part of this adventure,” said Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion.

The private placement prices the Play Magnus Group at NOK 796 million.

To stimulate liquidity for the listed shares, the original founders of Play Magnus AS, chess24 and Chessable will sell some of their shares as part of the private placement prior to the listing. 

The majority of the shares in the sale will be sold by LT Holdings Ltd, the largest current shareholder in Play Magnus. 

The plan is to carry out a book-building process starting on 24 September, with the first day of trading during the week of October 5, provided that the application is approved by the Oslo Stock Exchange. 

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