Embracer Group says the deal would allow it to tap into Asmodee’s expertise in board game publishing and distribution, while Asmodee will be able to eye expansion into the video game space.
PAI and the Embracer Group have entered in exclusive discussions for Asmodee, one of the worldwide leaders in board games, which would see it join the Embracer Group, the parent company of a number of businesses developing and publishing PC, console and mobile games for the global games market.
Owned by PAI Partners as a majority shareholder since 2018, Asmodee sold more than 39m games in 2020 globally. Via its 22 fully owned studios and 300+ IPs including Ticket to Ride (80m+ players) and Dobble (85m+ players), Asmodee has become the largest independent global player in the growing and highly resilient board game market. Asmodee benefits from its unique 25-years of experience in creating long-lasting franchises and delivering original content.
Embracer Group says Asmodee and Embracer share a ‘natural and strong bond’ in their strategy and cultures and are focused on creating the best games and experiences – and making them available to the largest audience possible on all relevant gaming and media platforms. The acquisition would mark a transformative step in Embracer and Asmodee’s strategy and would create Europe’s largest gaming group, with an established market leading position in board games. It adds that board games and video games are highly complementary, with both boasting long term appeal among global consumers.
Through the combined strengths of Embracer’s eight existing operating groups (THQ Nordic, Koch Media, Coffee Stain, Amplifier, Saber Interactive, Deca, Gearbox Entertainment and Easybrain), Asmodee’s franchises would accelerate its expansion into video games, while Embracer Group’s franchises would benefit from Asmodee’s publishing and distribution expertise in board games. The envisaged groups’ collaboration and joint forces would bring impact and scale to IPs, distribution, technology, game development and transmedia-projects.
As a result of the acquisition, the combined entities of Embracer Group and Asmodee would own more than 100 game development studios and over 500 owned IPs and brands, employing 11,300+ employees across 50+ countries. Asmodee’s CEO Stéphane Carville, together with his management team, will continue to lead the new operating group. Asmodee will continue to operate independently, as it did before the deal, with no reorganisation expected following the contemplated transaction.
“I’m thrilled at the prospect of the project of pursuing our ambition with Lars Wingefors and the Embracer Group” says Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group. “Embracer and Asmodee share strong values centred on putting the best teams together to provide our players with the best experiences on the planet.”
Gaëlle d’Engremont, partner and head of the Food & Consumer sector at PAI Partners, says: “In close partnership with the management of the company, we have implemented a highly ambitious strategy for Asmodee over the past three years to position it as the undeniable leader in the exciting world of board games. For Asmodee to pursue its successful journey with the long-term support of Embracer, a leading player in the game industry, could be a very good opportunity.”
Lars Wingefors, co-founder and group CEO, Embracer Group AB, added: “I am delighted we have made an offer to welcome Asmodee to our growing group. Asmodee would become our ninth operating group, moving Embracer towards becoming a leading independent global gaming eco-system with several market leading positions, in line with the successful Embracer strategy to build on passionate entrepreneurs and creators with a decentralised operating model.”