Chinese gaming and web giant Tencent to acquire British game developer Sumo Group, which has created games in the Hitman, Sonic and Little Big Planet franchises, for £ 919 million (US $ 1.24 billion) .
News of the deal emerged in a statement to Sumo’s London Stock Exchange that said the two sides had agreed to an all-cash transaction.
Sumo Group shares rose 40.5% on the news, reaching a bid price of 513p per share.
Non-Executive Chairman Ian Livingstone said the deal “will help secure and promote Sumo’s long-term aspirations and success” as the company “will benefit from Tencent’s vast video game ecosystem, industry expertise proven and its strategic resources “.
Sumo CEO Carl Cavers also appreciated the deal and said he expects the company to accelerate development of its own games and continue to provide development services. to third parties.
Cavers said “possible acquisition opportunities” could also arise from the deal.
James Mitchell, Executive Director and Chief Strategy Officer at Tencent, said the transaction “will accelerate Sumo’s growth in the UK and overseas, supporting Sumo in the leading creative talent market and the UK. as a video game hub. innovation”.
Tencent was already an investor in Sumo, with an 8.75 percent stake. Prior to the announcement, he polled other shareholders about the purchase and obtained approval from stakeholders who together represent 27% of the shares.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, which may be one of the reasons Tencent uses an entity named “Sixjoy Hong Kong Limited” to execute the transaction from the more user-friendly jurisdiction of the Special Administrative Region rather than ‘use a company based in China.
Tencent has had sort of a game-acquisition frenzy in recent years and already owns big studios such as Riot Games and a stake in developer Fortnite (and Apple antagonist) Epic Games, as well as many other developers. of Chinese games. ®