July 23, 2024
Banking

Keywords to be acquired by Swedish investor EQT at £2.2 billion valuation


Keywords is set to be acquired by Swedish investment firm EQT at an enterprise value of £2.2 billion ($2.8 billion).

The prolific game service provider—which assists with development, art production, localization, QA, marketing, and more—confirmed the deal will value each Keywords share at £24.50 in cash.

“The boards of Bidco (EQT) and Keywords Studios are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Keywords Studios by Bidco,” reads a statement posted on the London Stock Exchange. “The Acquisition is to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act.”

The acquisition values the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Keywords at roughly £2.1 billion on a fully diluted basis and “implies an enterprise value of approximately £2.2 billion.”

EQT will finance the acquisition with a combination of equity capital and debt financing. The deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Keywords hopes new ownership will help it overcome “near-term challenges”

Keywords’ chairman of the board, Don Robert, said the company will benefit from EQT’s operational expertise and deep industry network. He claimed the Swedish firm will “provide a good home for our valued employees as they continue building trusted partnerships with our customers.”

“Whilst the Board expects the continued execution of Keywords Studios’ strategic objectives and its leadership position to create significant value, the Board is also mindful of the near-term challenges in the broader video games and entertainment industries, as well as other longer-term uncertainties, which have caused volatile returns for Keywords Studios’ shareholders over the past fifteen months,” he added.

“On balance, the Board believes that this offer represents a good opportunity for Keywords Studios shareholders to realize value for their investment in cash upfront at a significant premium to the undisturbed share price. We therefore unanimously recommend the offer to our shareholders.”

EQT Asia chairman Jean Salata said Keywords is an “exciting business in a growing and fragmented video game technology services market,” and claimed the acquisition will take the service provider to even greater heights.

“As a private company under EQT’s ownership, Keywords Studios will be well positioned to make the long-term investments required for the transition to next-gen video gaming and for global expansion,” said Salata.

“We plan to draw on our experience in the services and technology sectors to support management and invest further in innovation, talent, and M&A to accelerate Keywords Studios’ current strategy.”





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