Sweden-based video game company Embracer Group today announced a total of six new acquisitions, including Middle-earth Enterprises, a subsidiary of The Saul Zaentz Company, which has held a vast majority of intellectual property rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for 50 years.
With the acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises through Embracer’s subsidiary Freemode, the Swedish company will now own the rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions for these two classics, ‘’as well as matching rights in other Middle-earth-related literary works authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, which have yet to be explored.’’
In addition, Embracer has also completed the acquisition of Swedish game developer Tuxedo, and said it has entered into agreements to acquire video game studio Limited Run Games, game developer and publisher Tripwire Interactive, karaoke systems provider Singtrix, and another company whose name has not yet been shared.
Embracer said the aggregated upfront purchase price of all the deals is SEK 6.0 billion, which is equal to approximately $576.6 million by the time of writing. It expects the acquisitions to bring SEK 1.8-2.1 billion ($173-201.9M) during its next financial year ending March 2023, SEK 2.1 to 2.4 billion ($201.9-230.8M) over the next two years, and 3.0-3.5 billion ($288.5-336.6M) over the next three years.
“Today Embracer becomes an even better group. I am pleased to welcome an amazing group of entrepreneur-led companies to the Embracer family and to extend our portfolio with some truly remarkable IPs and franchises, including The Lord of the Rings,’’ said Lars Wingefors, Embracer’s co-founder and Group CEO. ‘’It is encouraging that our group has become a natural and preferred buyer of creative, growing and profitable companies within Gaming and Entertainment. Several discussions with entrepreneurs now joining have been ongoing for more than three years before the stars aligned today, which underlines the importance of a long-term perspective in building our group,” he added.
Embracer’s announcement comes months after its acquisition of Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal for $300 million in May this year. It also acquired Cyprus-based Easybrain in a $640 million merger deal in February 2021.
Earlier this year, the company received a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
(1 USD = 10.4053 SEK)