Tarsus and EJK acquire a 60% interest of Expo Restaurantes in Mexico

exporestaurantesE.J. Krause and Associates and Tarsus have acquired a 60% interest of Expo Restaurantes. Established 18 years ago Expo Restaurantes is a restaurant supplier show in Mexico. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal also includes Pescamar (the leading fish and seafood exhibition in Mexico) which is co-located with Expo Restaurantes and is sponsored by both the Agriculture Ministry in Mexico as well as CONAPESCA (the National Commission of Fish and Aquaculture).

Ned Krause, President and CEO of E.J. Krause and Associates said: “I am excited by this new acquisition in Mexico given that E.J. Krause and Tarsus have a long and successful history of working together in this market. Expo Restaurantes and Pescamar are perfect vehicles for us to enter this growing market in Mexico.”

Douglas Emslie, Tarsus Group Managing Director, said: “We are happy to be growing our portfolio of events in Mexico with our established partner EJ Krause. The team will also work closely with our World Food Expo (WOFEX) event in South East Asia to exploit the synergies between each of them to grow, broaden and further internationalise.”

The next edition of Expo Restaurantes will be held on 27-29 June 2018 in the World Trade Center, Mexico City.

Related reporting: Tarsus form joint venture with EJK in Mexico Posted on November 27, 2013

UK, London & USA, Bethesda, MD & Mexico, Mexico City

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EA acquires Gamefly’s cloud gaming technology & talent

Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts Inc. has acquired the cloud gaming technology assets and personnel of a wholly owned subsidiary of video game rental company GameFly, Inc. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Los Angeles-headquartered GameFly acquired Israel-based cloud gaming company Playcast Media Systems in 2015. The team will join EA’s functional teams, including the central technology organisation that is responsible for developing and operating the cutting-edge platform that powers EA’s leading games and services.

Cloud gaming opens up new possibilities to expand the reach of games by streaming high-quality entertainment to more players, on more devices, in more geographic regions of the world. With this acquisition, EA is adding to its strategic focus on advanced technologies that will give players more freedom to access the games they want, and enable the delivery of next-generation experiences at scale.

Ken Moss, Chief Technology Officer of Electronic Arts, said, “Cloud gaming is an exciting frontier that will help us to give even more players the ability to experience games on any device from anywhere. We’re thrilled to bring this talented team’s expertise into EA as we continue to innovate and expand the future of games and play.”

USA, Redwood City, CA & Israel, Caesarea

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Hg makes strategic investment in Financial Express

Hg Capital plcHg, the manager of HgCapital Trust plc, is to make a significant investment in Financial Express, a leading data, analytics and software vendor focussed on the UK and Australian retail investment funds markets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. HgCapital Trust plc will invest approximately £7.5 million in FE, with other institutional clients of Hg investing alongside the Company through the Mercury 2 Fund.

Based on the 30 April 2018 NAV, the company’s liquid resources available for future deployment, including all announced transactions, are estimated to be £145 million (20% of the 30 April 2018 pro forma NAV of £712.8 million). In addition, the company has access to an £80 million standby facility, which is currently undrawn. The investment will reduce the company’s outstanding commitments to invest in Hg transactions over the next four to five years to approximately £587 million.

Founded by Michael Holland and Craig Wilson, FE is a leading provider of investment data, research and software to the financial services industry in the UK and operates a proprietary database of complete retail funds data with global coverage and history, built up over 20 years. Trusted by investors, advisers, asset managers and platforms who use FE data, software and investment advice every day, FE is a leading player in supporting the UK fund industry.

The investment will be made from the Mercury 2 Fund. FE has a number of business characteristics that Hg looks for, including a strong position in the wealth / asset management software and data sector, a well-recognised brand, mission-critical products, and a strong management team led by Neil Bradford.

The investment comes on the back of significant expansion of FE’s global operations and product offering over the past few years, and another year of record growth for the company in 2017.

Sebastien Briens, Partner at Hg, said: ‘We have been following FE for a number of years, and have been impressed by the strength and depth of its data, products, team and vision. We are very pleased to partner with Michael, Craig and Neil in the next stage of growth for the business.’

Neil Bradford, CEO at FE, said: ‘Hg’s track record and experience in our sector means they are the perfect partner to continue FE’s growth strategy and international expansion ambitions. We look forward to working with the Hg team.’

Michael Holland, co founder of FE, said: ‘Data is at the foundation of everything we do and Hg has a deep understanding of the fund data space. I am confident that this partnership will hugely benefit our clients.’

UK, London

ITE to acquire Ascential Events in £300M deal

ITE GroupITE Group plc has released its interim results and proposed the acquisition of seven event brands from Ascential Events Ltd for £300 million.

The Ascential Exhibitions Business, which organises market-leading exhibitions that bring business communities together to connect and trade, includes two global industry-leading exhibitions brands, Bett and CWIEME, and a number of market-leading UK exhibitions brands such as the Spring and Autumn Fairs and Pure. In the financial year ended 31 December 2017, these brands generated revenues of £77.5 million and EBITDA of £24.0 million.

The move comes as ITE Group releases its interim results, showing the group’s revenues grew at eight per cent on a like-for-like basis, driven by its Transformation and Growth (TAG) programme. For the six months to 31 March 2018 revenue for the group was £75.4m.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group plc, said, “These events are well known to us, the acquisition is in line with our product-led acquisition strategy and gives us the benefit of a more balanced portfolio by geography and product. It also adds two more global brands in BETT and CWIEME and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2019, our first full financial year of ownership. The combination of good progress on TAG and the proposed acquisition of Ascential Events Limited represent the significant steps for ITE in realising its vision of creating the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events that deliver an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers.”

UK, London

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Bigben Interactive acquires French games developer Cyanide for €20M

Bigben interactive logoBigben Interactive has acquired Cyanide, a French studio developing video games for €20 million, obtaining 100% of the company’s shares and voting rights. In the wake of Bigben’s increased stake in the capital of the Kylotonn Racing studio, this transaction will allow the Group, until now a publisher and distributor of video games, to fully integrate the development phase of games.

The transaction is to be paid for half in cash and for half through the issue of Bigben new shares in order to remunerate the transfer of Cyanide shares (dilution ranging from 3.5% to 4.0% of Bigben’s current share capital).

In order to avoid any further dilution, Bigben also purchased all potential capital instruments on the day of the transaction for an additional € 1.1 million in cash.

An earn-out capped and based on the net profit of Cyanide (and its subsidiaries) for FY 2018-19 (as at 31 March 2019) may be paid in September 2019. The closing of the transaction is scheduled to take place in June 2018.

Created in 2000 by 7 seasoned developers of the video game industry, Cyanide is one of the French reference studios recognized for the development of creative video games in numerous genres (strategy, narrative, shooting, management, sport, action and adventure) as well as for the quality of its productions.

Based in France (Paris and Bordeaux) and in Canada with 110 employees on its payroll, the studio expects €6.1 million sales and a €1.9 million net profit for financial year 2017/2018 (closing on 31 March 2018, pending audit results).

Alain Falc, chairman and CEO of Bigben, said, “This acquisition is a capital milestone in Bigben’s strategy as it greatly enhances our ability to create new games that meet our ambitions in the AA segment. Bigben is also proud to welcome to its Group the talents of Cyanide, one of the most creative French studios in the sector and we will be supporting their upswing towards new, even more ambitious projects.”

France, Lesquin & Nanterre

DMGT to recommend Silver Lake’s recommended cash offer for Zoopla

SilverLake ManagementZephyr Bidco, a subsidiary of Silver Lake Management Company V, and ZPG Plc, the owners of Zoopla, have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition of the entire share capital of ZPG Plc for 490p per ordinary share, a material premium to the volume weighted average price for the three month period ended 10 May 2018.

The Board of ZPG Plc, which includes two representatives of DMGT, intends to unanimously recommend this offer to ZPG Plc shareholders and DMGT has given an irrevocable undertaking to accept the offer in respect of its entire holding, amounting to 29.8% of ZPG Plc’s issued share capital.  If approved, the transaction will become effective in the third quarter of calendar year 2018.

DMGT has been invested in Zoopla Property Group since 2012, when DMGT’s online property business, the Digital Property Group, merged with Zoopla. DMGT subsequently held a 55% stake in the combined entity.  DMGT maintained its support through ZPG Plc’s IPO in 2014.

Paul Zwillenberg, Chief Executive, commented: “The recommended all cash offer for ZPG promises to deliver a very significant return for DMGT.  The sale of our stake, pending shareholder approval at ZPG, fits with our long track record of successfully identifying new opportunities, incubating young businesses and supporting their growth to create value for shareholders.”

USA, Menlo Park, CA & UK, London

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Content production company CreativeDrive acquires Zebra Worldwide

CreativeDriveIndependent global content production company CreativeDrive has acquired Zebra Worldwide to combine CreativeDrive’s network of over 150 studios in the U.S., Latin America, Asia and Europe with Zebra’s portfolio of video and content production and localization offices across London, Paris, Cape Town, Kiev and Sydney. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Zebra Worldwide was founded by Management Consultant Luke Hammersley and Creative Director/Writer Nic Franklin as a production company in May 2005. Zebra is a major international content partner for brands and agencies, providing still and moving image production, post-production, localisation and associated technology services through their office network. Through their independent client base and long-standing moving image localization partnership with adam&eve DDB, Zebra work with global brands such as Reckitt Benckiser, Hilton, Ryobi Powertools, Hotels.com, and in 2017 were live in over 100 markets internationally.

Zebra Worldwide will retain its identity in the short-term, eventually transitioning to become CreativeDrive EMEA in the coming months. Zebra Worldwide CEO and founder Luke Hammersley will become CreativeDrive EMEA CEO, reporting to CreativeDrive’s Global CEO, Myles Peacock. Nic Franklin becomes Creative Director and MD, Cape Town. Sarah Rose has been promoted from Finance Director to COO, EMEA.

CreativeDrive Global CEO Myles Peacock, said: “Zebra’s ability to deliver world class video and content production through their global teams and powerful localization platform addresses brands’ insatiable need for content that is customized for specific regions and cultures. The entire Zebra Worldwide team is a natural fit to both our existing culture and our mission to continuously challenge the status quo by consistently producing high-quality content with unparalleled speed and scale.”

USA, New York, NY & UK, London