Acquisition of Eko Software,Another renowned French studio for game developing joins the Bigben Group
Bigben announces the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of Eko Software, a French studio developing video games. In the wake of Bigben’s increased stake in the capital of the Kylotonn Racing studio and of the acquisition of Cyanide in the first quarter of current financial year, this new transaction will allow the Group to reinforce its position upstream in the value chain with the full integration of the development phase of games.
Eko Software, one of the few French studios which managed to become a “multi-million seller”
Created in 1999 among others by Jules-Benjamin Lalisse, Eko Software is a renowned French studio which has developed around 30 games including the famous How to survive 1 and 2 titles which alone achieved cumulative sales exceeding several millions units and became a reference for fans of the “Action-RPG” gaming genre .
A fruitful collaboration has bound Eko Software to Bigben for numerous years. Eko Software delivered Rugby 18, Handball 16 and Handball 17 and is currently developing for Bigben three games including the strongly awaited Warhammer: Chaosbane.
Based in France (Paris) with 40 employees on its payroll, the studio posted 2.4 M€ sales and a 0.7M€ net profit for financial year 2017 (closing on 31 December 2017).
A new step towards becoming one of the world leaders of the so-called « AA » video game segment
Through the addition of another renowned player in video game development to its value-creation chain, Bigben paves the way for fulfilling its clearly defined ambition to become one of the global leaders in the AA video game segment. This transaction also allows Bigben to secure a complement to its current gaming catalogue while internalizing the recognized know-how of confirmed developers with a talent already appreciated during past collaborations.
The publishing range of Bigben is further extended by the Eko Software transaction after:
The acquisition of Eko Software will allow Bigben to increase its presence on genres highly praised by gamers such as « Action-RPG » and « Hack ’n’ Slash» as well as sport simulations.
Its integration into the Bigben Group will allow Eko Software to benefit from excellent synergies including the commercial, editorial and marketing contributions of the Bigben team. Mr. Jules-Benjamin Lalisse, current CEO and co-founder of the studio, will continue to manage Eko Software, enjoying a large autonomy in order to concentrate on the creative aspect of its productions.
Terms of acquisition
The purchase price has been set at 8.5 M€ for 100% of the shares and voting rights of Eko Software, the transaction to be paid 65% in cash and for 35% through the issue of new Bigben shares in order to remunerate the transfer of Eko Software shares (on the basis of the current share price of Bigben, the dilution would be around 1.5% of Bigben’s current share capital).
An earn-out capped and based on the net profit of Eko Software for FY 2018 (as at 31 December 2018) could be paid in June 2019.
The "closing" of the transaction is scheduled to take place in October 2018 notably once the official Capital Contribution Appraiser has issued his report on the valuation of the contribution resulting from the transfer of Cyanide shares and on the fairness of the remuneration of said contribution.
Bigben’s Board of Directors approved the transaction and will meet again on the closing day of the transaction in order to issue the new Bigben shares remunerating the transfer of Eko Software shares. Pursuant to applicable regulations, Bigben will issue on that day a new press release indicating in particular the exact quantity of new Bigben shares to be issued.
"This acquisition is another milestone in Bigben's strategy as it strengthens our know-how in the development of new games in the strategic AA segment. Bigben is also proud to welcome to its Group the talents of Eko Software which we have already fully appreciated during our many years of partnership. We will be supporting their upswing towards new, even more ambitious projects, with the goal of reiterating the experience of the million copies sold of How to Survive.” says Mr. Alain Falc, chairman and CEO of Bigben.
"We are pleased to join the Bigben Group, a leading international player in video game industry, whose vision, ambition and corporate values we fully share. Joining the Bigben Group gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate our development while integrating an environment favourable to the creation of ever more qualitative games.” commented Mr. Jules-Benjamin Lalisse chairman and CEO of Eko Software.
Bigben is a major video game publisher, designer and distributor of mobile phone and gaming accessories as well as audio products. The group, recognised for its innovation and creativity, aspires to become a European leader in each of the sectors it is active in. www.bigben.fr