Keywords Studios continues spending spree with purchase of development company

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Keywords Studios continues spending spree with purchase of development company


Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords
Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords

Irish video-game company Keywords Studios has acquired Studio Gobo and Electric Square (together, “Gobo”), for a total consideration of up to £26m (€29m).

Gobo provides game development services to video game developers and publishers around the world from its Studio Gobo and Electric Square studios based in the UK.

The initial consideration is £10.5m in cash and 254,529 new ordinary shares in Keywords, which will be issued on the anniversary of completion of the deal, and will then be subject to market provisions for a further 12 months.

The remaining consideration of £11m is payable in a mix of cash and shares, or all in cash at the discretion of Keywords, subject to the achievement of a “substantial increase” in Gobo’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation over the 12-month period following deal completion.

In a statement today, Keywords said that Gobo adds “considerable expertise and scale” to Keywords’ new and growing video game development business. 

“We are delighted to welcome Studio Gobo and Electric Square to the Keywords family,” Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords, said.

“By significantly enhancing our game development services in both scale and expertise, these studios together with recently acquired Snowed In, Sperasoft, d3t and GameSim help position Keywords as a go to game development partner and give us ever greater visibility of games in the pipeline, at the outset of their development.”

Gobo’s revenue has grown from £6.2m for the year ended 30 September 2017 to an estimated £11.6m for the 12 months ending 31st July 2018. Underlying pro-forma earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation for the same 12 months is expected to be approximately £3.6m.

Founded in 2011, Gobo employs 170 software engineers, artists, animators, game designers, quality assurance testers and producers.

Among the services that it offers are full game development for the owner of the game franchise, live operations in which it develops new features and downloadable content packages to ensure the games they support continue to keep players excited and engaged, and porting services in which Gobo will adapt a game to run on a different platform.

Over the years, Gobo has worked on top games franchises such as Disney Infinity, Ubisoft’s For Honor, and Microsoft’s newest racing game, Miami Street.

All of the sellers are remaining with Gobo under the continued direction of Tony Beckwith.

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