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CVC Capital Eyes Runescape Creator Jagex in £900m Acquisition Deal

CVC Capital Eyes Runescape Creator Jagex in £900m Acquisition Deal

CVC Capital Partners, the investment firm known for backing the Six Nations Rugby, is currently in exclusive discussions to purchase Jagex, the Cambridge-based video game developer famed for the Runescape series, in a deal valued at around £900 million, according to Sky News. This move positions CVC Capital Partners at the forefront of acquiring Jagex from Carlyle, another major buyout firm.

Jagex, established over 20 years ago, is recognized for creating Runescape, a fantasy role-playing game that has attracted over 300 million players globally. This potential acquisition highlights the enduring popularity and market significance of the Runescape franchise and Jagex’s portfolio.

Reports suggest that CVC Capital Partners has surpassed other interested parties in the bidding process and is nearing a formal agreement to take a controlling interest in Jagex. The sale attracted attention from various trade and financial bidders since it began last year.

Besides Runescape, Jagex’s repertoire includes titles like This Means Warp and Melvor Idle, expanding its influence in the gaming industry. The acquisition by CVC, led by its sports, media, and entertainment team in the UK, indicates a strategic interest in intellectual properties with large, international fan bases.

CVC Capital Partners has a history of investing in diverse assets, including Formula One racing and football’s commercial rights in France and Spain. This approach to investment reflects the firm’s strategy to capitalize on properties with widespread appeal.

The negotiation between CVC Capital Partners and Carlyle for Jagex’s acquisition comes amid discussions about the gaming company’s future business strategy and development pipeline. Despite some private equity firms expressing concerns over Jagex’s valuation, the ongoing talks for a £900 million deal underscore the perceived value and potential of Jagex in the gaming sector.

Jagex, which has been under Carlyle’s ownership since January 2021, had previously explored an initial public offering before considering a sale. The company, led by CEO Phil Mansell, employs hundreds and is an influential player in the video game industry.

As the deal progresses, CVC Capital Partners has not commented on the negotiations, and Carlyle was also approached for a statement regarding the potential acquisition.