News that will shake the board game world broke late last week with private equity firm Eurazeo confirming that it entered into exclusive negotiations with another equity firm, PAI Partners, for the sale of the Asmodee group. Asmodee, which has grown aggressively in the last few years by acquiring smaller board game publishers, is one of the largest publishers in the global board game market. They’re known in the English-speaking world for ownership of Fantasy Flight Games and Days of Wonder, as well as the entire Catan family of games and associated brand. The sale is still subject to successful negotiations and French regulators, but could be finalized by the end of this year. The overall cost of the deal looks to be about $1.4 billion USD, based on a €1.2 billion Euro valuation.
For their part, it appears that PAI Partners will continue Asmodee’s current strategy, focusing on growth both organically and, true to form, by acquisition of smaller developers and publishers. PAI Partners’ statement made it seem unlikely that they would make management or operational changes at Asmodee.
PC gamers may be well acquainted by now with the name of Asmodee, as their computer game publishing arm, Asmodee Digital, has made aggressive efforts to translate board games into digital versions on Steam. PAI partner Gaёlle d’Engremont told ICv2 that the firm was excited by Asmodee’s growth prospects in that direction, saying that the investors found “successfully diversifying the group’s main brands onto other platforms” exciting.
This news comes after reports earlier this year that Eurazeo was looking for a buyer for Asmodee.
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Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.