Embracer Group’s subsidiary Saber Interactive has agreed to buy Aspyr Media for $100 million, plus $350 million in possible bonuses.
The deal is the third one of the day for Embracer Group, which also paid $1.3 billion for Borderlands maker Gearbox Entertainment and $640 million for mobile game maker Easybrain.
Austin, Texas-based Aspyr Media was owned by founders Michael Rogers and Ted Staloch. The company makes games for the Mac, including titles such as Borderlands and Star Wars. More recently, the company expanded its presence on other platforms, publishing titles such as Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast on the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4.
About $60 million will be paid in cash and $40 million in newly issued Embracer B shares. The deal could include another $350 million if Aspyr hits certain targets.
Aspyr Media is 24 years old, and it has 140 employees. During 2020, Aspyr generated approximately $40.6 million in revenues and $11.4 million in operational earnings before interest and taxes.
“I have been a fan of Aspyr for longer than I have been in the industry,” said Matthew Karch, CEO of Saber Interactive and a director of the Embracer Board, in a statement. “Michael and Ted are true entrepreneurs that have built a business by identifying and exploiting opportunity where no one else saw it. They are a perfect fit for Embracer and I am proud to now call them partners. Together we will be able to greatly expand our development and publishing activities here in the US. Stay tuned for details on some of the amazing games we have under joint development. Today is a truly amazing day for Saber and the entire Group.”
Aspyr maintains strong and long-standing partnerships with many leading game publishers and intellectual property owners. Aspyr has worked with 2K Games since 2006 when the company ported 2K Games’ Sid Meier’s Civilization IV from PC to MacOS. Since then, Aspyr has ported over 20 2K games and expansion packs to various devices and consoles. Under a typical porting and distribution agreement, Aspyr incurs the development costs to convert the game and then works with the publisher and distribution partners to successfully bring the game to market. The founders will continue to run Aspyr.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Saber and to become part of the entire Embracer family,” said Michael Rogers, CEO of Aspyr, in a statement. “We are confident that Embracer is the ideal partner for us as we look to accelerate growth and execute on our exciting pipeline. We have been in the games industry for two and a half decades, but it feels like we are just getting started. We look forward to exploring opportunities to collaborate with other entrepreneurs within the wider Embracer Group to bring celebrated games to our fellow gamers around the world.”
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