Saudi investment in gaming

Saudi Arabia has looked to Sweden again to build on its video games and esports investments, having already launched the Savvy Gaming Group. Saudi PIF has bought an 8.1 per cent stake in a Swedish developer.

Through Savvy, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is buying 99.9m B shares at a subscription price of 103 kronor per share, from Sweden’s video game developer Embracer at 10.3bn kronor ($1.05bn).

The fund launched the gaming and esports group in January of this year after buying ESL Gaming in a cash transaction worth $1.05bn.

Lars Wingefors, CEO of Embracer, said:

“Savvy Gaming Group’s investment of $1bn enables us to continue executing our strategy proactively from a position of strength across the global gaming industry.”

Embracer owns 120 studios, including Gearbox Software, Deep Silver and Flying Wild Hog. The deal gives the Saudi’s an 8.1 per cent stake in Embracer.

Explaining the decision to accept the investment, Wingefors said:

“I have been asked over the past few days why we are accepting investment from an entity in a non-democratic country. To start, we need to look ourselves in the mirror, we are a public company and already have many hundreds of institutions from all parts of the world as shareholders, including investors from the Middle East and Africa (MENA) and Asia region. We genuinely believe that SGG, a fully commercial entity, has ambitions within gaming that are genuine in supporting the global ecosystem for our industry that are consistent with and important to the values and culture of our industry. SGG is providing a sizeable, truly long-term capital investment to support our strategy and our management so that we may continue the successful growth of our commercial businesses.”


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