THQ Nordic acquires game development studios Coffee Stain and Bugbear

THQ NordicTHQ Nordic has acquired both Coffee Stain Studios, developers of Deep Rock Galactic, A Story About My Uncle, and the Satisfactory, and Bugbear Entertainment, who created Flatout and Wreckfest. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lars Wingefors, CEO of THQ Nordic, said, “We are creating a complementary digital native pillar to THQ Nordic. Coffee Stain is a passionate and highly competent team creating and publishing great games. After some years without major releases, the pipeline of new game releases such as Satisfactory and Deep Rock Galactic look strong. I look forward to working together with Anton Westbergh and his team in the future.”

THQ Nordic now has a sizeable array of studios and IPs, with over 55 games in active development.

Austria, Vienna, Sweden, Skövde & Finland, Helsinki

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Penske Media acquires ARTnews & Art in America

Penske Media CorporationPenske Media Corporation has acquired leading art publications ARTnews and Art in America as part of the overall acquisition of Art Media Holdings LLC, the largest independent art publishing group that also includes The Magazine ANTIQUES and MODERN Magazine. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ARTnews, founded in 1902 and winner of over 40 major journalism awards, is the most highly circulated contemporary art magazine in the world. ARTnews is a resource for leaders of the international art world, with digitally led news coverage from its global correspondents, investigative reports, reviews of exhibitions, and profiles of artists and collectors.

Since its founding in 1913, Art in America provides artists, curators, and collectors in the US and around the world with informed analysis of the world’s most important art movements.

PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske said, “For more than a century ARTnews and Art in America have been leaders in breaking news and commentary on the art world. To welcome these fine publications, whose editorial heritage I have long admired, is not only a remarkable opportunity but also a great honor. This purchase continues PMC’s strategy of investing in businesses with great vertical depth, and we plan to rapidly build upon their editorial foundation while extending their presence across the web, video, and international markets.”

USA, New York, NY

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Meredith sells Fortune magazine to Thai billionaire for $150M

MEREDITH CORPORATION LOGOU.S. media company Meredith Corp is selling Fortune magazine for $150 million in cash to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, the second time the influential business magazine has changed hands this year. Best known for the “Fortune 500” list, the magazine was acquired by Meredith as part of its acquisition of Time Inc in January for $1.84 billion.

Jiaravanon is best known for his affiliation with Charoen Pokphand Group, or C.P. Group, a business conglomerate with stakes in the Thai telecommunications, food, retail and automotive industries.

The Fortune sale is expected to close before the end of the year and it will be a personal holding of Jiaravanon. In a statement, Jiaravanon said he wants to make Fortune “the world’s leading business media brand. The demand for high-quality business information is growing and with further committed investment in technology and brilliant journalism, we believe the outlook for further profitable growth is excellent both for the publication and the events business”.

Alan Murray, who has been editor of Fortune since 2014 and previously served as chief content officer of Time Inc., is becoming president and CEO of Fortune. He wrote on Twitter that he’s “delighted to have found a buyer for Fortune that shares our mission, our independence and will invest to make Fortune grow.”

USA, New York, NY

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Ascential acquires Flywheel Digital for $60M

Ascential plcGlobal specialist information and events company Ascential plc is to acquire Flywheel Digital, a leading US-based provider of managed services to consumer product companies trading on Amazon, for an initial cash consideration of $60 million plus earn out payments payable over three years.

Founded in 2014, Flywheel offers customers Amazon-specific software, tools and expertise to drive sales and brand performance across Amazon platforms by directly actioning solutions for clients. Flywheel’s proprietary platforms and processes optimise brands’ online operations, including merchandising, supply logistics and media management. Flywheel primarily serves large-scale US consumer product companies, with more than 70 customers and more than 90 staff based in Baltimore and Seattle.

The initial consideration of US$60m (subject to normal working capital adjustments) is being paid out of Ascential’s existing cash reserves using capital released from the sale of the Exhibitions business. Earn out consideration is payable in cash based on the revenue of the business for the next three years to 2021 and is expected to total between approximately US$47m and US$196m. A portion of the earn out is subject to the founders remaining in employment with the company. The total potential consideration, including both initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at US$400m in the event that extremely stretching revenue levels are reached.

In the year ended December 2017, Flywheel grew its revenue by more than 150% and delivered unaudited profit before tax of $4.8m. It had gross assets of $23.9m at December 2017. The transaction is expected to be earnings accretive in Ascential’s current financial year.

Flywheel will report to Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential. The business will be reported as part of Ascential’s Sales segment alongside the newly integrated Edge business (comprising One Click Retail, Clavis, Planet Retail RNG and Brand View) which offers a range of insight and advisory solutions to improve performance across Amazon and other eCommerce platforms.

Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential, commented, ‘We have a clear focus on providing information and capabilities that enable our customers to succeed in the digital economy. The acquisition of Flywheel is in line with this strategy, further strengthening our offerings in eCommerce for brands navigating the digital market places, particularly Amazon.’

UK, London & USA, Seattle, WA

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UK Government tightens entrepreneurs relief rules

Philip Hammond

The Rt Hon Philip Hammond

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond today delivered his Autumn 2018 Budget.

A change to the minimum period qualifying rule for capital gains tax via entrepreneurs relief will effect the tax paid by some business owners on selling their businesses. Entrepreneurs’ relief reduces the amount of Capital Gains Tax paid on disposals of businesses, or shares in a personal company, by offering a reduced 10% tax rate on up to £10m worth of lifetime gains.

The Chancellor announced that from 6 April 2019 the minimum period throughout which the qualifying conditions for relief must be met will be extended from 12 months to 24 months. The extension of the qualifying period is designed to dis-incentivise shareholders from making a quick sale. There had been calls from both sides of the house to scrap the relief.

Read the Policy Paper for the 2018 Budget here. The details of the change to entrepreneurs relief are given in section 4.7 Enterprise Tax.

UK

 

IBM to acquire Red Hat for $34bn

IBMIBM and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source cloud software, have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion.

Red Hat is a leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybridRed Hat cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market. IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses. Most companies today are only 20 percent along their cloud journey, renting compute power to cut costs. The next 80 percent is about unlocking real business value and driving growth. This is the next chapter of the cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimizing every part of the business, from supply chains to sales.”

Upon closing of the acquisition, Red Hat will join IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat’s open source development heritage and commitment, current product portfolio and go-to-market strategy, and unique development culture. Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat’s current management team. Jim Whitehurst also will join IBM’s senior management team and report to Ginni Rometty. IBM intends to maintain Red Hat’s headquarters, facilities, brands and practices.

USA, Armonk, NY and Raleigh, NC

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A Fusion Deal: Integer Research sold to Argus Media

ArgusInteger Research an independent provider of specialist market intelligence and analysis, consultancy services and conferences has has been sold to Argus Media, the global energy and commodity price reporting agency. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Integer Research. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Integer provides the fertilizer, wire and cable, and emissions control markets with specialist economic and financial analysis, market forecasts, strategy, and benchmarking information, as well as global conferences.

paul-kelly_f_1_120_1

Paul Kelly

Speaking about the sale, Fusion’s Paul Kelly said, “I’ve known Integer Directors Tim Cheyne, and Oliver Hatfield for four years; I met their third partner, Philip Radbourne at the start of the process. They are a highly professional team with great industry knowledge and expertise. Integer is a great fit with Argus and they will do very well. I wish them every success”.

Integer Managing Director Tim Cheyne added, “This is a natural cultural and strategic fit for Integer and we are excited to build on Argus’ existing global expertise in commodity markets and leverage its technology and platform strengths to the benefit of our customers.”

Argus Media Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Binks said, “Argus’ acquisition of Integer will expand the range and depth of services we offer to our customers. Integer has a unique product offering and this, combined with Argus’ global reach and scale, will offer users powerful market intelligence and insight.”

Argus first entered the global fertilizer markets with the acquisition of price reporting and events business FMB Consultants in 2011. A company sale project also managed by Fusion Corporate Partners. In 2014 Fusion sold Metal Pages to Argus.

UK, London

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Other Fusion Deals:

Media & Business Information

Exhibitions & Conferences

Business Support Services and Energy & Environmental Services

 

MORE FUSION DEALS