Keywords is paying up to US$50mln for High Voltage (HVS), a game developer that is expected to generate underlying earnings of around US$9.0mln in 2021.
The initial consideration for the acquisition will be US$23.75mln in cash and the equivalent of US$9.75mln in new ordinary Keywords shares. The deferred consideration of up to US$16.5mln will be payable in a mixture of cash and new shares if certain performance targets are hit.
"With its 27-year pedigree of game development in the global video games market, High Voltage brings incredible experience, expertise and additional scale to our fast-growing Game Development Service Line. The multitalented team at HVS brings deep expertise in the Unreal Game Engine development environment, honed particularly well in recent years through working closely with Epic Games on Fortnite, as well as a track record of having worked with many client proprietary game engines, gaming platforms and game genres, which all adds further breadth and depth to Keywords Studios' existing capabilities,” said Andrew Day, the chief executive officer of Keywords in a statement.
“It also adds a new presence in Chicago, and in New Orleans, for the group, providing access to an additional pool of talent,” he added.
Founder and majority shareholder Kerry Ganofsky will continue to lead the HVS business. He said being part of Keywords would provide High Voltage with the ability to create the next generation of AAA games.