Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has spent $1 billion for Embracer Group’s 99.9 million B-shares, the equivalent of approximately 8.1% of the Swedish gaming company’s shares.
The shares were acquired through Savvy Gaming Group, a subsidiary that was launched earlier this year and is fully owned and operated by the Riyadh-based Public Investment Fund. The sovereign wealth fund (aka PIF) is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Over the past few years, Saudi-based entities have become one of the most significant investors in the global gaming market, and the games market in MENA is one of the world’s fastest growing, with $5.7B in 2021 revenues and more active gamers than either the US or Western Europe,” said Embracer Group founder and CEO Lars Wingefors.
“Our relationship with Savvy Gaming Group will enable us to set up a regional hub in Saudi Arabia, from which we will be able to make investments across the MENA region, either organically, via partnerships, joint ventures, or via acquisitions of companies led by strong entrepreneurs.”
Savvy Gaming Group has already made a number of major acquisitions in esports and gaming. In January, it bought the esports division of Modern Times Group for $1 billion.
“Savvy Gaming Group has committed to invest heavily in the games and esports industry and to materially strengthen the global games community,” said Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy Gaming Group. “This investment in Embracer Group is a starting point for a long-term commitment to the company.”
In May, PIF acquired a 5% stake in Nintendo. Owning minor stakes in Nexon and Capcom worth around $1 billion in total, it also acquired 96% stake in SNK. In the fourth quarter of 2020, PIF acquired more than $3 billion worth of stock in Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, and Activision Blizzard.