In context: Lars Wingefors began his enterprise profession promoting comedian books by the mail. Since then, he has amassed a $2.four billion fortune because the founder, co-owner, and CEO of Embracer Group based mostly in Sweden. The corporate owns eight main online game publishers, 69 studios, and 240 recreation franchises. It’s now financially greater than Ubisoft, with a valuation of $13 billion.
The Swedish recreation developer Embracer Group AB (previously THQ Nordic AB) could not ring any bells for some individuals, however it’s making large waves within the European mergers and acquisition enviornment. The corporate has picked up 27 studios in simply the final yr and pushed its valuation to $13 billion, surpassing rival developer Ubisoft. It even managed to outpace corporations within the enterprise of creating offers like Swedish funding agency Lifco, which landed solely 16 mergers within the final yr.
Based in 2008 by Lars Wingefors, Embracer shares have skyrocketed 2,900 p.c since its preliminary public providing in 2016. Wingefors has watched his 35-percent stake within the firm develop from $1.four billion final yr to $2.four billion as of the tip of March—greater than a 71-percent year-over-year improve.
Whereas the Embracer model may not get a lot recognition, a few of the 69 improvement studios and publishers below its belt are well-known within the gaming business, together with THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Deep Silver, and Volition. It most lately closed two deals in February, choosing up Gearbox Leisure and Aspyr Media. Embracer has greater than 7,000 workers in 45 completely different nations.
Whereas the corporate’s financials have seemed excellent, Bloomberg notes that progress by M&A could be dangerous. Embracer failed to publish a single triple-A recreation in 2020 and has primarily relied on fashionable “second-tier” video games to maintain the income flowing.
“The massive danger for inorganic progress tales within the video games business has all the time been what occurs after they run out of targets—can they develop organically?” mentioned Bloomberg Intelligence expertise analyst Matthew Kanterman. “I do not assume we’re at that time but with Embracer, however it’s one thing to contemplate down the street.”
Whereas it may be laborious to see what’s “down the street” in Embracer’s distant future, its short-term targets are clear. The corporate is at the moment seeking to record on Nasdaq Stockholm to interrupt out of its home market. It’s also contemplating twin listings in different markets, however Embracer didn’t give specifics. Each strikes will present extra capital to gas future mergers.