Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Modern Times Group MTG AB (MTG) on its acquisition of further shares in InnoGames GmbH (InnoGames) and its acquisition of Hutch Games Ltd (Hutch).
This latest acquisition in InnoGames, a leading German games developer and publisher, increases MTG’s ownership from 51 per cent to 68 per cent. The transaction also involves the establishment by MTG of a new holding company, MTG Gaming AB (“GamingCo”), to which 100 per cent of the shares in InnoGames and Kongregate are transferred. Future acquisitions will be held by GamingCo.
Hutch is a leading developer and publisher of free-to-play mobile games focused on the racing genre. MTG’s acquisition enables strong growth opportunities within a new and highly attractive game category for MTG, while also further diversifying the group’s games portfolio. The up-front consideration amounts to US$275 million (on a cash and debt-free basis). Earn-out payments are expected to deliver an additional US$100 million.
Nils Rahlf, the Norton Rose Fulbright Frankfurt-based corporate partner who led on the acquisition of InnoGames, commented:
“We have seen the popularity of gaming grow exponentially over recent years and this latest acquisition for MTG represents an important step towards further synergies, values and strategic opportunities in the future.”
The Norton Rose Fulbright team, based in the firm’s Frankfurt and Hamburg offices, who advised MTG on the acquisition of shares in InnoGames and the restructuring of its gaming investments under the new GamingCo also included corporate associates Adriaan Louw, Andre Hartmann and Ariane Theissen. Partner Tino Duttiné, senior associate Julia Gallinger and associate Robert Schmidt advised on tax matters and partner Oliver Sutter and senior associate Lenka Michalko advised on banking aspects of the transaction. Corporate partner Bryn Sappington (Dallas and Houston) and corporate associate David Hagen (Dallas) provided US advice.
Norton Rose Fulbright London corporate partner David Marshall, who led on the acquisition of Hutch, commented:
“With gaming now a multi-billion pound industry, the expansion of MTG’s portfolio into the popular racing genre will only further strengthen growth opportunities for them in the mobile gaming sector.”
The London-based Norton Rose Fulbright team who advised MTG on the acquisition of Hutch also included corporate partner Sophie O’Connor and associate Tong Lap Way. Dominic Stuttaford, Norton Rose Fulbright’s head of tax for Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA), partner Matthew Findley, counsel Ann Moseley and senior associate Greg Branagan advised on tax, and incentives matters. Mike Knapper, EMEA head of intellectual property and Marcus Evans, EMEA head of data protection, privacy and cybersecurity, together with associates Alex Redbourne and Magdalene Lie advised on IP and data privacy. The team also included Paul Griffin, head of London employment and labour, with support from counsel Lauren Pullen-Stanley and senior associate Ben Wright.
The team in London were also assisted by a team in Canada, including real estate partner Julie Paquette (Ottawa), IP partner Jung-Kay Chiu (Toronto) and employment partner Anna Gallop (Toronto) and counsel Martin Rochette (Quebec).