Tencent have acquired the parent company of Sumo Digital; developer of LittleBigPlanet and Sonic the Hedgehog racing games.
While Tencent Holdings Ltd. already owned 8.75% of Sumo Group Plc (the parent company to Sumo Digital), Bloomberg reports the rest will be purchased for £5.13 GBP per share, noted as a 43% premium on the British developer’s prior close. In total, Tencent’s offer is valuing Sumo Group at an estimated £919 million GBP ($1.26 billion USD), and as such the remaining shares will cost them £803 million GBP (est. $1.1 billion USD).
Bloomberg also notes this resulted in shares of Sumo Group increasing 42% a mere minute after London trading opened, after it had already increased by 45% from its biggest intraday gain in the company’s trading history.
“The business will benefit from Tencent’s broad videogaming ecosystem, proven industry expertise and its strategic resources,” said Ian Livingstone, non-executive chairman of Sumo, “which will help secure and further the aspirations and long-term success of Sumo.” Livingstone is also an entrepreneur, one of the co-founders of Games Workshop, and helped Eidos Interactive secure Tomb Raider and Hitman.
Sumo Digital was founded in 2003, and are best known for the later LittleBigPlanet video games on PlayStation. The developer also ported OutRun 2 to Xbox, and developed Virtua Tennis games, Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Crackdown 3, Team Sonic Racing, and Hood: Outlaws and Legends.
Tencent’s portfolio also includes becoming the major shareholder for Marvelous in January 2020, 100% ownership of Riot Games, 80% of Grinding Gear Games, 40% in Epic Games, 29% in Funcom, 5% in Activision Blizzard, 5% in Ubisoft, 5% in Paradox Interactive, a “major investment” in PlatinumGames, a majority stake in Klei Entertainment, a minority stake in Dontnod Entertainment, and others.
In earlier news, Tencent were reportedly negotiating with a US national security panel to keep their investments in US companies Epic Games and Riot Games. Most recently, a German outlet reported from their sources that Tencent sought to acquire Crytek; which may also give them access to the western military simulators the developer makes.
Image: Sumo Group official website