Mobile game

Mobile game publisher Jam City raises $ 350 million, buys Ludia for $ 165 million

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Jam City has raised $ 350 million in funding and completed its purchase of mobile game publisher Ludia for $ 165 million.

The deal comes after Jam City scuttled its $ 1.2 billion plan to go public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) due to changing stock market conditions. The $ 350 million is a combination of equity and debt financing.

Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe said in an interview with GamesBeat that he was happy with the outcome, even though the company had to reset its original plans to acquire Ludia from entertainment company Fremantle.

“We have a very long-standing relationship with Ludia, as well as with their parent company, Fremantle, and the two companies thought it fit together perfectly, which was very important,” DeWolfe said. “So we all hung in there. We have started to develop our synergy plans over time. Time has certainly not been wasted. We can hit the ground running now that it’s completely closed.

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Above: Jurassic World: Alive is one of Ludia’s mobile games.

Image Credit: Ludia

Ludia has a mobile game portfolio that includes Jurassic World games (Jurassic World: The Game, Jurassic World Alive) and upcoming DC and Disney titles. DeWolfe said the AR technology behind games like Jurassic World: Alive could prove useful for the combined company.

“We had embarked on the path of a partnership with a SPAC to go public and acquire Ludia with a transaction that probably started almost a year ago with the idea that it was going to be very fast and allow us to do the acquisition as part of the fundraiser, “DeWolfe said.” Back then it was the best way until it wasn’t, and so as a business , you should always choose the best capital structure that meets your needs.

The money comes from Netmarble, Kabam and subsidiaries of funds managed by Fortress Investment Group. The round is the biggest for Jam City to date. Netmarble, the South Korea-based video game company and maker of Marvel: Future Revolution, retains majority ownership of Jam City. But DeWolfe said Jam City operates independently, has a separate board, and has its own strategic goals.

Above: Lovelink is one of Ludia’s mobile games.

Image Credit: Ludia

Jam City has generated over $ 3 billion in lifetime bookings and 1.3 billion cumulative installs to date, in total, including Ludia. Prior to the Ludia acquisition, Jam City achieved double-digit compound annual growth in bookings and profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) over the past five years until in 2020.

Netmarble, one of the world’s largest and most successful mobile game companies, previously led a $ 130 million equity investment in Jam City in 2015. In 2019, Jam City raised $ 145 million from strategic financing led by a banking syndicate comprising the main arrangers JPMorgan. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch with Silicon Valley Bank, Truist Securities and CIT Bank.

Jam City will use the proceeds from the financing to help continue its strategy of developing its game portfolio through organic growth and acquisitions, DeWolfe said. He said the funds raised today will help the company continue with both possibilities.

“There are a lot of great opportunities out there,” DeWolfe said.

Above: The leaders of Ludia and its What’s your story? Game. Alex Thabet, CEO, is at the top.

The Cookie Jam franchise has over $ 800 million in lifetime bookings and Panda Pop has generated $ 400 million in lifetime bookings to date.

Jam City has more than 850 employees in studios located in Los Angeles, Burbank, Cedar Falls, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco and internationally in Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires and Toronto. Ludia has more than 400 employees and is based in Montreal.

Regarding the stock market, DeWolfe said the public markets have slowed when it comes to game companies going public. PSPCs are under more scrutiny and the market was crowded.

“It became more difficult to tell our story in this environment because there were so many PSPCs hitting the market at the same time,” he said. “It took longer and started to deviate from our goals, and the market got a lot more choppy at the same time. “

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