Saber Interactive has been bought by itself for $247m. – WGB


After a week or two of rumours, Saber Interactive has confirmed its departure from the slowly disintegrated Embracer Group for the sum of  $247m.

The buyer appears to be Saber Interactive themselves, working through a newly created company called Beacon Interactive. The company was created in January of this year by Saber Interactive co-founder Matthew Karch who is listed as the sole director/manager.

The deal includes several studios that were under the Saber Interactive umbrella, namely New World Interactive, Nimble Giant Entertainment, 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks, Mad Head Games, Fractured Byte and Sandbox Strategies. In total, Beacon Interactive will gain around 3,000 employees and 38 projects.

Embracer will retain Tripwire, Aspyr, Beamdog, Tuxedo Labs, Demiurge, Shiver, Snapshot Games and 34 Big Things. Embracer will also keep  4A Games and Zen Studios. However, Saber Interactive has the option to acquire those studios as well. As part of the deal, Embracer will keep the long-term publishing rights to Metro, along with publishing rights to several unannounced AA and AAA games still in development, along with Killing Floor 3 and Teardown.

If you’ve got a better memory than a goldfish you may recall that the recent reports valued the deal at the $500m mark, significantly more than the $247m announced. Well, according to Jason Schreier, the $500m deal still stands as a leaked internal Email suggests that Beacon Interactive has already decided to exercise its option to buy 4A Games and Zen. The purchase price along with any liabilities will bring the total value of the deal to around $500m. The leaked Email also confirms what I mentioned above – Beacon Interactive basically is Saber Interactive in all but name.

“I am pleased that we have found a win-win solution for Embracer and the parts of Saber that now will leave us.” said Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors. “This transaction puts both companies in a stronger position to thrive going forward. Embracer is now able to discontinue all operations in Russia, according to a previous board decision, while safeguarding many developer jobs under new independent ownership. At the same time, we keep key companies, valuable IPs and future publishing rights. Cash flow is immediately improved, and we remain committed to reducing net debt. The transaction yields additional headroom to amortize debt in accordance with existing bank agreements and will improve financial flexibility. This is the first transaction of the previously mentioned structured processes and marks a small but important step in our journey to transform Embracer into the future for the benefit of all employees, gamers, and shareholders,” 

“Over the past four years, I have been proud to be part of Embracer’s amazing transformation into one of the leading game companies in the world. As part of the company’s efforts to reorganize for a changed industry and geopolitical challenges, we jointly felt it was the right decision for both Embracer and the core of Saber to part ways. This divestment leaves both parties in much better positions to grow our respective businesses. I will continue to remain a large, long-term shareholder of Embracer and we will remain partners on several ongoing and future projects. This transaction also safeguards the livelihoods of hundreds of professionals, many of whom I have worked with for over two decades,” says Matthew Karch, co-founder of Saber Interactive and director of Beacon Interactive.

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