Dark Horse acquired by the Embracer games company

As acquisition rumors have been circulating lately, it was announced today that European games company Embracer will acquire Dark Horse, the third largest comic book publisher in North America. Terms of the deal have not been announced and the deal will be concluded in 2022.

The purchase includes the Dark Horse Comics publishing arm, the Dark Horse Entertainment media arm and the Thing From Another World retail channel.

Sweden-based Embracer bought 80% of the company from “a seller based in Hong Kong and China” who would be primarily Vanguard Visionary Associates. The remaining 20% ​​of the company was purchased from the founder and publisher of Dark Horse. Mike richardson, who will remain at the head of the company.

The buyer is a holding company with nine other “operating groups” including game companies THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Deep Silver and Koch Media. Lately they’ve been on a shopping spree and recently acquired the leading board game company Asmodee, with an alleged purchase price of nearly $ 3 billion.

We left the pr as is below, but the main theme is “transmedia:”

With this acquisition, Embracer strengthens its transmedia capabilities by adding expertise in content development, comic book publishing, and film and television production. Dark Horse owns or controls over 300 intellectual properties, many of which can provide a solid foundation for the future development of IP transmedia and the opportunity to fertilize IP and strengthen licensing partnerships on PC, console, VR and mobile.

While news of any acquisition may conjure visions of new methods and layoffs, Embracer’s business model is to allow its units to operate fairly independently, so Dark Horse should see little immediate change when ‘deal will be made. In a statement, Richardson expressed his enthusiasm for the deal:

“I cannot express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse enters this new chapter in our history. The synergies that exist with the Embracer business network promise exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and the companies we work with. I have had a number of exciting conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors, and I am very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. say the future of our business has never been brighter, ”said Mike Richardson, Founder and CEO of Dark Horse.

Although Dark Horse has traditionally been a hotbed for independent comic book creators and is listed as having over 300 IP addresses, in recent years their biggest sellers have been game art books. Obviously, There is enormous potential to link all of the gaming brands Embracer now controls – and tons of other synergies.

Development.

RP below


Embracer Group AB (“Embracer”) today entered into an agreement to acquire Dark Horse Media, LLC (“Dark Horse”), a leading entertainment company. After the closing, Dark Horse will become the tenth operational group of the Embracer group. With this acquisition, Embracer strengthens its transmedia capabilities by adding expertise in content development, comic book publishing, and film and television production. Dark Horse owns or controls over 300 intellectual properties, many of which are of interest for future transmedia exploitation, including the creation of new video games. Dark Horse Founder and CEO Mike Richardson will continue to lead the company with existing leadership.

“I cannot express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse enters this new chapter in our history. The synergies that exist with the Embracer business network promise exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and the companies we work with. I have had a number of exciting conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors, and I am very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. say the future of our business has never been brighter, ”said Mike Richardson, Founder and CEO of Dark Horse.

Context and rationale

Dark Horse is a leading entertainment company founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson and based on the idea of ​​establishing an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals: where writers and artists were treated as partners. This formula attracted the best creative talent, and 30 years later the company became the third largest comic book publisher in the United States, with a successful track record in producing films and television series.

With this acquisition, Embracer strengthens its transmedia capabilities by adding expertise in content development, comic book publishing, and film and television production. Dark Horse owns or controls over 300 intellectual properties, many of which can provide a solid foundation for the future development of IP transmedia and the opportunity to fertilize IP and strengthen licensing partnerships on PC, console, VR and mobile.

Dark Horse is headquartered in Milwaukie, Oregon, United States, has entertainment offices in Los Angeles, California, United States, and has 181 employees in its three business units:

  • Dark Horse Comics: Dark Horse’s core business is content creation, with comic book publishing being the key expression of that content. Dark Horse’s posts include company-owned titles such as The Mask, Time Cop, Father’s Day, and Phantom; licensed titles, such as Star Wars, Avatar the Last Airbender, Stranger Things and witcher; Japanese manga titles, such as Berserk, Lone Wolf & Cub, and material belonging to the creator, such as Big guy and rusty and Grendel. Dark Horse is also a leader in game art collections with books like the bestseller The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia.
  • Dark Horse Entertainment: A production company founded in 1989, which has produced more than 40 films and series, including No. 1 at the box office The mask and Timecop, the Hellboy films and critically acclaimed series The Umbrella Academy and Foreign resident.
  • Things from another world: A unique retail concept offering a wide range of comics, graphic novels, toys, statues and other collectibles related to pop culture, and a philosophy of providing excellent customer service. Founded in 1980 and comprised of three retail outlets and a rapidly growing e-commerce presence.

Dark Horse’s growing library includes over 300 compelling intellectual properties. With a structure and a proven ability to produce intellectual property, partner with top creative talent, and build global brands and successes, Dark Horse is in a strong position in a market where entertainment content is at a high level. request. This point of proof can be seen in Dark Horse’s strong pipeline of over 40 projects at Netflix, Amazon, Syfy, Sony, MGM, Universal, and Warner Media.

Additionally, there is untapped potential in creating games based on Dark Horse IP and a substantial opportunity for synergies within the Embracer group, both within Dark Horse Comics and Dark Horse Entertainment.

In calendar year 2021, Dark Horse will generate net sales of approximately SEK 900 million with operating EBIT of approximately SEK 130 million. Dark Horse is expected to generate operating EBIT of SEK 140-180 in FY 22/23 and SEK 170-200 million in FY 23/24. These figures exclude any commercial synergies or planned mergers and acquisitions.

Purchase price

For commercial reasons, specific trading conditions are not disclosed. The transaction will be accretive to adjusted earnings per share.

80 percent of Dark Horse’s shares will be acquired from a seller based in Hong Kong and China. The remaining 20 percent of the shares will be acquired from founder and CEO Mike Richardson and COO Neil Hankerson. Both agree to stay with the company. After the completion of the acquisition activity will remain as usual and there is no planned restructuring.

Finalization of the transaction

The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including merger control approval, and is expected to close in early 2022.

Advisers

EY acted as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted as legal advisor to Embracer in connection with the Transaction. Lazard acted as financial advisor and White & Case acted as legal advisor to the seller.

About Dark Horse Comics

Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics is a prime example of how integrity and innovation can help expand a unique storytelling medium and transform a business from humble beginnings into an industry giant. In a new partnership with Vanguard Visionary Associates, Dark Horse is positioned to further expand its reach globally with publishing, products and filmed entertainment. Over the years, Dark Horse has published the work of creative legends such as Yoshitaka Amano, Margaret Atwood, Paul Chadwick, Geof Darrow, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Faith Erin Hicks, Kazuo Koike, Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Moebius, Chuck Palahniuk, Wendy Pini and Gerard Way. Additionally, Dark Horse has a long tradition of establishing exciting new creative talent across all of its divisions. The company has also set the industry standard for quality licensed comics, graphic novels, collectibles and art books, including SStranger Things, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, Minecraft, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Dragon Age, James Cameron Avatar, Game of Thrones, Mass Effect, StarCraft, The Witcher, and Halo. Today Dark Horse Comics is one of the world’s leading entertainment publishers.

About the Embracer Group

Embracer Group is the parent company of companies that develop and publish PC, console and mobile games for the global gaming market. The group has an extensive catalog of over 250 owned franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency, World War Z and Borderlands, among many others.

With its head office based in Karlstad, Sweden, Embracer Group has a global presence through its eight operating groups: THQ Nordic, Koch Media, Coffee Stain, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, DECA Games, Gearbox Entertainment and Easybrain.

The Group has 86 in-house game development studios and employs more than 9,000 employees and contract workers in more than 40 countries.


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