Keywords Studios acquires Alchemic Dream in Canada and Reverb Localização in Brazil

keywordsKeywords Studios, a technical services provider to the global video games industry, has acquired Alchemic Dream Inc. in Canada, a provider of multi-lingual customer support services for the video games industry internationally for CAD$1.25m

In addition, Keywords has completed the acquisition of Reverb Localização – Preparação de Documentos Ltda. in Brazil for to €300k.

Alchemic Dream

alchemicFounded in 2001, Alchemic Dream is based in Shawinigan near Montreal, Canada where it employs 38 people, it also works with remote collaborators in 36 countries. The acquisition provides Keywords Studios with an entry point into the fast growing market for community management services, either within the game, in the game forums or within the wider social media channels. The demand for live operations support services designed to ensure players continue to engage with the game for longer is expanding due to the transition from games as a packaged product, sold through traditional retail stores, to games as a service for mobile, online, or console games.

Keywords Studios will pay a maximum total cash consideration of CAD$1.25m for 100% of Alchemic Dream dependent on certain closing balance sheet related adjustments.

Alchemic Dream’s management accounts for the 10 months to 31 October 2014 show the business achieved revenues of CAD$4.33m and profits before tax of CAD$480k. The accounts for the year to 31 December 2013 show it achieved revenues of CAD$3.7m, a loss before tax of CAD$220k and it had net assets of CAD$0.48m including net debt of CAD$0.2m.

Reverb Localização

ReverbReverb was founded in 2012 and is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It has a small team of 5 employees, plus freelance collaborators. The company provides localisation and audio management services for Brazilian Portuguese for some leading games including World of Warcraft and Magic the Gathering. This will be Keywords’ first office in South America.

Andrew Day, Chief Executive of Keywords Studios, commented on the Alchemic Dream acquisition, “The acquisition of Alchemic Dream provides us with an important point of entry into the increasingly important market of customer care services for the video games industry.”

Commenting on the Reverb Localização acquisition, day said, “We are also pleased to be announcing our first investment in the fast developing game economy in Brazil. Brazilian Portuguese has risen to take its place in our top 5 languages alongside the more established languages of French, Spanish, German and Italian. The acquisition of Reverb provides us with a small but high quality foothold in this important growth market and we expect to be able grow our revenues and improve our margins for this language as a result.

Ireland, Dublin & Canada, Montreal & Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

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Keywords Studios acquires Lakshya Digital in India

keywordsKeywords Studios, a technical services provider to the global video games industry, has acquired Lakshya Digital Pvt. Ltd, a provider of outsourced art services for the video games industry internationally with centres of operation in New Delhi and Pune, India, for a total consideration of $4.0m.

Founded in 2004 and employing 270 people, most of whom are highly trained artists, Lakshya is one of the most recognised brands in the large and highly fragmented market for the provision of outsourced art services to the video games industry. It provides Keywords Studios an entry point into this fast growing market, where the demand for art assets (such as characters, vehicles, landscapes, cityscapes, space ships and weapons) is growing in line with the increase in game content as games on consoles, social media, PCs, tablets and smart phones become more complex and richer in their definition.

Keywords Studios is paying a total of $4.0m in two tranches. 91% of the shares of Lakshya have been acquired for $3.0m in cash. The remaining 9% will be acquired for a total of $1.0m in October 2015, of which up to $400,000 at sole discretion of Keywords will be used to subscribe for shares in Keywords Studios at a price determined by the volume weighted average price per share in the 5 days prior to completion of this second stage. Two of the sellers will each be granted options over 450,000 shares of Keywords at the prevailing market price.

Lakshya’s audited accounts for the year to 31 March 2014 show it achieved revenues of INR 249m ($4.05m); it had net assets of INR 78m ($1.3m) including net debt of INR 9.1m ($0.15m). Underlying PBT after adjusting for a non-continuing activity amounted to INR 23m ($0.37m).

Lakshya’s well-established position with game development studios, particularly in the US and Japan, will open up new sales channels for the Keywords group where the focus is primarily on video game publishers. The business development team of Lakshya will be integrated into the Keywords sales force to further facilitate cross selling between the Group’s extended range of services.

Andrew Day, Chief Executive of Keywords Studios, commented: “By providing us with an entry point into the large, growing yet fragmented art outsourcing market, the acquisition of Lakshya provides Keywords with additional growth opportunities as well as cost and revenue synergies. It will enable the Group to have earlier involvement in the development cycle of video games titles, it will enable us to share one facility at Gurgaon (New Delhi) where both Lakshya and Babel Media are located and it will provide us with a base from which to expand further in the art outsourcing market.”

UK, & India, New Delhi

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Keywords Studios acquires Babel Media

Keywords Studios, the  technical services provider to the video games industry, has acquired Babel Media Ltd, a  provider of outsourced video games services with operations in the UK, Canada and India, from Quatrro Global Services Pvt. Ltd. and The D. E. Shaw Group.

Keywords Studios is paying the sellers and settling the financing obligations of Babel to a total of £5.369 million. £2,215 million is payable through  the issue of 1,516,944 new shares in Keywords Studios at a price of 145.994 pence per share and £3,154 million in cash to settle debts.

The unaudited management accounts for the 10 months to 31 January 2014 show Babel has achieved revenues of £6.4m and EBITDA of £0.4m; it has net assets of £1.44m after adjusting for the loans being repaid. Babel was founded in 1999.

Andrew Day, Chief Executive of Keywords Studios, commented, “The acquisition of Babel brings together two of the leading video games testing and localisation providers, firmly establishing Keywords as the market leader in its field, with operations across Dublin, Rome, Montreal, Seattle, Tokyo and now in New Delhi.”

UK, London & Ireland, Dublin & New Delhi, India & Montreal, Canada.

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Keywords Studios acquires Liquid Violet

keywordsKeywords Studios, the technical services provider to the global video games industry, has acquired Liquid Violet, a video games voice production services company.

Keywords Studios has paid an initial cash consideration of £300,000 with a further £1.3 million payable in cash contingent upon Liquid Violet achieving certain financial targets in the three years to 31 March 2016.

Liquid Violet specialises in the management, on behalf of major video game publishers including Blizzard Entertainment and 2K, of the pre production and post production stages of localised voice-over assets for incorporation in the finished games. Formed in 2011 and based in London, it has established a growing base of blue-chip clients in the games industry due to its strong reputation for efficiently delivering large volumes of high quality audio assets, working with a multitude of audio studios across the globe.

Andrew Day, Chief Executive of Keywords Studios, commented, “We are pleased to have acquired Liquid Violet, which occupies an attractive niche, with healthy margins and good growth prospects and which will extend the Group’s audio services offering to its global customer base. We expect the use of audio in video games to grow thanks to the much enhanced capabilities of the new generation of consoles that were launched in November 2013 and as the capabilities of mobile devices continue to develop.

UK, London