Private Equity Company EQT Acquires Dublin-based Gaming Company Keyword Studios at £2.1bn


Irish video game company Keywords Studios, which operates 70 studios and sites across 26 countries, is set to be acquired by private equity investor EQT in a £2.1bn (€2.48bn) deal. The Dublin-headquartered firm has announced that it will recommend the acquisition to its shareholders.

EQT’s offer of £24.50 per share represents a premium of around 67% on the closing price of £14.70 per share on May 17, before the offer period began. Although this is slightly down from the initial offer of £25.50 per share made by EQT in late May, the deal is still expected to close in the final quarter of the year, as reported by both companies.

Keywords Studios, listed in London, had previously confirmed in May that it was in advanced discussions with EQT regarding a potential sale. At that time, the company revealed that EQT’s buyout offer followed four previous unsolicited proposals, all of which had been rejected by Keywords Studios’ board.

In a statement today, Keywords Studios Chairman Don Robert expressed optimism about the acquisition, highlighting the benefits of EQT’s “operational expertise and deep industry network.” He acknowledged the near-term challenges and long-term uncertainties in the video game and entertainment industries, which have led to “volatile returns” for shareholders over the past 15 months.

“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,” Mr. Robert said.

EQT Asia Chairman Jean Salata added that under EQT’s ownership, Keywords Studios will be well-positioned to make the long-term investments necessary for transitioning to next-generation video gaming and global expansion. He noted that EQT plans to leverage its industry experience to “support management and invest further in innovation, talent, and M&A to accelerate Keywords Studios’ current strategy.”

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