TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: DoubleDown Interactive in USD$100m (£79.8m) IPO; Nexon to invest USD$1.5bn (£1.2bn) in global entertainment companies; and Giants Gaming acquires x6tence.
DoubleDown Interactive in USD$100m (£79.8m) IPO
Social and casino developer-publisher DoubleDown Interactive has submitted filings with the SEC for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq stock exchange, with its shares to be traded under the symbol DDI. The Seattle, Washington-based firm intends to raise up to USD$100m (£79.8m) through the issuance of 400,000 new common shares alongside 360,000 existing shares currently owned by STIC Investment, which is currently converting its bond holdings in the studio to common shares at it seeks to cash out. Last year was a successful period for DoubleDown Interactive, with net income climbing by 44.6% year-on-year to USD$36.3m (£29.0m).
In a South Korean filing, DoubleDown Interactive parent DoubleU Games stated that the funds raised through the IPO will be used to support its M&A strategy, as well as raising brand awareness within the US. DoubleU acquired DoubleDown from previous parent International Game Technology (IGT) in June 2017 for USD$825.6m (£658.7m), and currently holds an 80.6% stake in the studio.
UPDATE – 08:21 BST, Friday 19th June: DoubleDown Interactive has updated the terms for its IPO, which will price during the week commencing 29th June 2020. The company aims to raise USD$198m (£159m) at a price range of USD$17-USD$19 (£13.60-£15.22) per share, valuing the developer-publisher at USD$896m (£718m).
UPDATE – 08:48 BST, Thursday 2nd July: DoubleDown Interactive has announced that it has postponed its IPO. The developer-publisher had previously removed the insider selling element of the issuance, reducing the proposed raise value to USD$86m (£69.2m), valuing the firm at USD$777m (£625m).
Nexon to invest USD$1.5bn (£1.2bn) in global entertainment companies
Nexon Co. Ltd. executives have announced that the online gaming company is set to invest USD$1.5bn (£1.2bn) in publicly-listed global entertainment companies, with investments which reflect the “secular shift from linear to interactive entertainment.” While Nexon did not disclose information on which companies will receive investment, it highlighted that it will actively be pursuing strategic partnerships with the funded firms.
In a statement, Nexon President and CEO Owen Mahoney commented, “First and foremost, we intend to make smart investments – a good use of Nexon’s cash in a market defined by low interest rates. The global entertainment industry is experiencing a profound secular shift from linear to interactive entertainment. We’re looking for companies that share Nexon’s vision for creating and sustaining strong intellectual properties across multiple markets, in multiple formats for long periods of time.”
Giants Gaming acquires x6tence
Giants Gaming Group, known as Vodafone Giants following a naming rights deal with the mobile brand, has acquired fellow Spanish esports organisation x6tence for an undisclosed sum. Managerial staff from the purchased team will be onboarded within Giants Gaming, along with players on its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) roster. The acquisition follows a €3m (£2.7m) investment in Giants Gaming from the Sánchez Cózar Group which was announced last week, as well as brand partnerships fostered in 2020 with the likes of Nike, Sevilla FC, Chupa Chups, and Font Vella.
José Ramón Díaz, Giants Gaming Group CEO, commented: “Giants Gaming has been consolidating an unprecedented market leadership position in recent years and we believe that it is time to make a change of pace and go a step further. With the acquisition of the X6tence brand and our incorporation into the project, we kick-start a new stage of hope where we will work like never before to reformulate the rules of esports.”