Friday 22 November 2019

Ireland’s Keywords Studios is going to Hollywood with latest acquisition

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish video gaming company Keywords Studios has announced the acquisition of Hollywood-based Blindlight for a total consideration of $10m (€8.5m).

Founded in 2001, Blindlight works on behalf of game publishers and developers in procuring specialised talent and managing the entire production processes for the parts of games that benefit from Hollywood production resources.

Its service disciplines include voiceover production, celebrity acquisition and rights management, game writing, music, sound design and motion capture.

"Keywords and Blindlight have got to know each other well over the past three years and we see good opportunities to leverage both businesses to offer a wider range of world leading services to our clients," Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios, said.

Mr Day went on to say that following Keywords recent acquisition of music services companies Cord Worldwide and Laced, it sees "excellent opportunities" for Blindlight to bring these services to Los Angeles, "as well as providing access to further opportunities for our downstream production services of translation and localised voice over."

Blindlight works with a number of game producers around the world, including Bethesda, NCSoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Ubisoft.

In a statement today Keywords said that the addition of Blindlight to the company will increase the value of services it provides and contribute to making those services more accessible to a wider customer base.

Blindlight achieved Earnings Before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of an average of $1m per year over the three-year period to 31 December 2017.

Under the terms of the acquisition Keywords is paying an initial $3.64m in cash and will issue 64,521 new ordinary shares in Keywords to the founder of Blindlight - Lev Chapelsky  - on the first anniversary of the acquisition, which will then be subject to orderly market provisions for a further 12 months.  

A deferred consideration of up to $4.8m will be payable to Mr Chapelsky in cash depending on the performance of the business in the 12-month periods to the first and second anniversaries of the acquisition.

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