PE Tech Report

NEWSLETTER

Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

GMT Communications Partners and Peacock Equity Fund to acquire games firm Bigpoint

GMT Communications Partners, a European private equity group focused exclusively on the communications sector, and the Peacock Equity Fund, a joint venture between GE Commercial Finance’s

GMT Communications Partners, a European private equity group focused exclusively on the communications sector, and the Peacock Equity Fund, a joint venture between GE Commercial Finance’s media, communications and entertainment business and NBC Universal, have agreed to take a majority stake in Hamburg-based online games specialist Bigpoint alongside the firm’s management.

Bigpoint develops and hosts browser-based online multi-player games and has more than 23 million registered users. Its portfolio includes more than 20 free multiplayer games that can be accessed anytime with up to 130,000 users playing concurrently.

The company, which has more than 150 employees, generates revenues through in-game virtual item purchases and advertising sales. The acquisition of the majority stake by GMT and Peacock Equity from Aurelia Private Equity, European Founders Fund and United Internet Beteiligungen, a deal valued at EUR70m, is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in two months.

The new shareholders says they will support the expansion of Bigpoint in Europe, the US and Asia through the development of new games, distribution platforms and marketing initiatives. In the US, Bigpoint will partner with NBC Universal to power a series of browser-based game titles to be featured within NBC Universal’s online networks including Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network web sites.

‘We identified online multiplayer games as a highly attractive sector for investment and Bigpoint stands out as by far the best company in this space with a top-class management team,’ says Tim Green, managing partner of GMT Communications Partners.

‘With the backing of both GMT and Peacock Equity, Bigpoint is strongly positioned to extend its leadership in the global online games market. As the only sector-focused media and telecommunications fund in Europe, GMT’s deep industry knowledge and network gives us keen insight into Bigpoint’s tremendous potential, and we look forward to supporting its continued expansion worldwide.’
 
Tom Byrne, managing director and group head of Peacock Equity, says: ‘The gaming space is a key strategic focus area for Peacock Equity. We believe the growth characteristics of the space, when coupled with what GMT and NBCU can do for Bigpoint’s continued development, make this a very attractive investment opportunity.’
 
Bigpoint founder and chief executive Heiko Hubertz adds: ‘This is an exciting time for everyone at Bigpoint. With GMT and Peacock Equity’s support we are extremely well situated to build on our current position as a leading online browser-based games publisher. As more people spend more time online and web-based technologies improve, our sector is enjoying enormous growth. We feel we are in a very strong position to capitalize on this growth across the globe.’

GMT Communications Partners has invested in the European marketplace for the past 15 years, providing buyout and expansion capital for high-growth companies and in particular focusing on developing new strategic directions for established businesses that are able to benefit from new communication technologies.

Since its establishment in 1992, GMT has invested in 27 companies and completed more than 100 transactions in 18 countries. Bigpoint is GMT’s fourth investment from its third fund. Current and previous investments include Asiakastieto, Melita Cable, Primesight, Orion Publishing and Invitel.

Peacock Equity is a USD250m global capital fund launched in April 2007 that focuses on companies developing technologies, platforms or business models that are a strategic fit with NBC Universal and have high growth potential. The firm’s capital investments include companies such as Adify, Healthline, IGA Worldwide, 4INFO, Trion World Network and Loomia and sectors including advertising services, digital content and communities and wireless platforms.

Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter

MOST POPULAR

FURTHER READING

Featured