Chinese conglomerate acquires stake in listed gaming business

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Sheffield-based video game developer Sumo Group has agreed to sell 15 million shares in its Perwyn Bidco business to Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings.

Tencent, the world’s largest game developer and publisher by revenue, is making the acquisition through a direct wholly owned subsidiary. It will hold a 9.96% interest in Sumo as a result of the deal.

Perwyn, a family-funded private equity business and investor in Sumo Group since September 2016, will retain a 17.38% stake in the company.

Carl Cavers, chief executive officer of Sumo Group, said: “We are delighted that Tencent have chosen to acquire a shareholding in the company, and we look forward to working with Tencent to explore co-development opportunities.

“When Perwyn invested in Sumo Digital in September 2016 we were a private company with annual revenue of around £24m and operated from three studios in two countries.

“We are now a public company and, following the recent announcement of our new studio in Warrington in the north west of England, now have ten studios in three countries and reported revenue of more than £38m for the year ended 31 December 2018.

“I would like to thank Perwyn, once again, for their original investment and for their ongoing support of the business.” 

Steven Ma, head of Tencent Games, added: “We are glad to invest in Sumo Group, a leading independent co-development studio.

“We look forward to supporting Sumo’s growth and exploring collaborations with the company to bring more interactive entertainment experiences to global audiences.”

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