UK indie game group acquired for £90m
Independent video game company Catalis Group has been acquired by market capital firm NorthEdge Capital.
The group, led by CEO Dominic Wheatley since 2012, provides a range of services into the video games market.
It is composed of three UK games companies: London indie game publisher developer Kuju, London game developer and publisher Curve Digital, and media and game testing firm Testronic.
Curve Digital’s more popular titles including Human: Fall Flat, which has sold in excess of 7 million copies to date.
The group has a number of game releases planned including a spinoff of TV show Narcos, A Knight’s Quest and Peaky Blinders, based on the hit TV series.
As part of the acquisition, NorthEdge has committed follow-on capital to support management’s growth strategy.
Funding will be used to continue the global expansion of Testronic, including the opening of a significant new location in New Orleans, and to support the development of new titles at Curve.
NorthEdge has invested £46.6m through its acquisition vehicle Project Sword Bidco, whilst Vespa Capital, which has been a shareholder in Catalis since 2014, and CEO Dominic Wheatley have reinvested the majority of their shareholdings in Catalis as part of the transaction.
“This is an important move for us. Bringing NorthEdge in to help us grow and continuing to enjoy the support of Vespa Capital is a strong endorsement from two private equity houses,” said Wheatley.
“Our ambition is to build the next major UK owned games business to rival those based in other parts of the world. We have the right team and financial backing to take Catalis to the next level.
“The gaming industry has seen some remarkable growth in recent years, and we are on the cusp of a further explosion in their popularity made possible by streaming.
“Recent announcements by the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft will see the industry evolve even further now that these tech giants are investing heavily in this area.
“Streaming will allow gamers to access high resolution games attracting an ever greater audience and Catalis is well placed to benefit from this growth.”
Phil Frame, Director and Head of North West at NorthEdge Capital, added: “We look forward to working with the team at Catalis to further build on its international footprint, supporting its growth both organically and through acquisition.
“This strategy, which will commence with the imminent launch of a new site in New Orleans, will allow us to strengthen the company’s foothold in key markets such as Europe, North America, and Central America, and ultimately build market share in a sector valued at USD135 billion-a-year.”