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Investors Buy Majority Stake In Bigpoint For $350M

Investors Buy Majority Stake In Bigpoint For $350M

April 26, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

Summit Partners and TA Associates have signed an agreement to invest $350 million in Bigpoint, jointly taking a controlling share of the free-to-play online game developer and publisher. The two firms will join Bigpoint's board of directors.

This new backing will recapitalize Bigpoint and support its continued international expansion -- the Hamburg-headquartered outfit has offices in Berlin, Sao Paolo, Malta and San Francisco, that last of which the company is positioning as its "hub for AAA development."

As part of this transaction, Comcast Interactive Capital's Peacock Equity Fund, which says it saw "an excellent return" on its initial investment, will sell all of its holdings. GMT Communications Partners and GE will sell a majority of their stakes.

Founder and chief executive Heiko Hubertz intends to keep his 30 percent share in the publisher, and says he sees the potential for Bigpoint to exceed a value of $1 billion one day. Bigpoint claims this is the second largest investment ever in an online gaming company.

Bigpoint's free-to-play, browser-based online titles, which include Battlestar Galactica Online and DarkOrbit, are available in more than 30 languages and reach over 185 million registered users around the world. The company employs more than 700 workers to develop and support those games.

"The investment by TA Associates and Summit Partners is a validation of Bigpoint's leadership position within the gaming industry, and will give us a huge boost toward becoming one of the most successful gaming companies worldwide," says Hubertz.

He adds, "Summit Partners and TA Associates are supporting Bigpoint's international expansion -- a course we set out upon in recent months with the opening of new offices in the United States and Brazil. I'm looking forward to a future partnership of mutual trust and cooperation."

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