Embracer buys board game publisher Asmodee for $3 billion

STOCKHOLM, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Embracer (EMBRACb.ST) announced on Wednesday evening that it is acquiring French board game publisher Asmodee from private equity firm PAI Partners in a deal valued at 2 .75 billion euros ($3.11 billion) to consolidate its leading position. Europe’s largest gaming group.

Of the total transaction value, €350 million would be paid to Asmodee shareholders and approximately €2.4 billion would be used for cash and debt refinancing.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of next year, will immediately boost Embracer’s earnings.

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“It’s been a competitive process…interest from other financial buyers has been quite strong,” Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said on a conference call Thursday.

Embracer operates under a model in which the founders of acquired companies run their businesses as independent, or “vertical” businesses, with complete freedom to create and operate.

The company has grown through acquisitions during the pandemic and has spent billions this year alone buying gaming groups.

Asmodee, which will become Embracer’s ninth “vertical” business, headquartered in Paris, France, was founded in 1995 and has a portfolio of nearly 1,000 games and sells more than 39 million games each year in more than 50 countries.

Separately, Embracer completed a sale of 69 million B shares at SEK 87 per share to raise approximately SEK 6 billion.

($1 = 0.8846 euros)

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Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm

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