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Keywords Studios buys US company for up to $50m


Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios

Dublin-based Keywords Studios has continued its acquisition spree, buying US company High Voltage for up to $50m (€41m).

High Voltage provides game development services to the video games industry.

The acquisition will further Keywords strategy to become the “go to” technical and creative services platform for the global video games industry, according to a statement from the group.

High Voltage is expected to generate earnings of circa $9m (€7.4m) next year.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Keywords will pay a maximum amount of $50m for the business.

This is comprised of initial consideration of $23.75m in cash and the equivalent of $9.75m in new ordinary shares.

There is also a deferred consideration of up to $16.5m, in a mix of cash and new ordinary shares, based on performance targets and other conditions being met on or prior to 31 December 2021.

The new ordinary shares to be issued as part of the initial consideration and the deferred consideration will be subject to a one-year lock-in period and orderly market provisions for a further period, Keywords said.

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios, said the acquisition brings “incredible experience, expertise and additional scale to our fast-growing game development service line.

“The multitalented team at HVS [High Voltage] brings deep expertise in the Unreal Game Engine development environment, honed particularly well in recent years through working closely with Epic Games on Fortnite, as well as a track record of having worked with many client proprietary game engines, gaming platforms and game genres, which all adds further breadth and depth to Keywords Studios’ existing capabilities.”

Founded in 1993 by majority shareholder, Kerry Ganofsky, who will continue leading the studio within Keywords, High Voltage is an end-to-end, full-service, AAA game developer based near Chicago, Illinois.

High Voltage lists game franchises such as Fortnite, Saints Row, Mortal Kombat, Hunter the Reckoning, The Conduit, and Lego Racers amongst its major credits.

Last month Keywords bought g-Net Media, a Los Angeles based provider of marketing services to the video games and entertainment industries, for a total consideration of up to $32m (€27m).

Established in 1998, Keywords now has 65 facilities in 21 countries.

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Earlier this year, the company launched a £100m (€113m) share placing to boost its financial firepower.

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