Gearbox owner says it plans to continue its $8bn acquisition spree

Embracer Group reportedly intends to continue an acquisition spree that has helped it become Europe’s largest gaming company by market capitalisation.

Since the start of 2020, the Swedish company has made 62 acquisitions at a cost of $8.1 billion.

And CEO Lars Wingefors reportedly told the Financial Times that he plans to make a similar number of acquisitions in the coming months and years.

He said he wants to invest in the free-to-play games space, as well as in countries like the UK, the US, Poland, France and China.

Embracer, which has a market valuation of $9.9 billion, has 115 internal game development studios and 10 operating groups including THQ Nordic, Koch Media/Deep Silver, Saber Interactive and Gearbox Software.

Its largest acquisition was the €2.75 billion purchase of French board game company Asmodee in December 2021.

Last year it acquired Borderlands developer Gearbox for up to $1.4 billion, and in 2021 it purchased World War Z and Witcher 3 port developer Saber in a deal that could rise to $525 million.

Last month Embracer acquired Dark Horse Media, one the leading US comic book publishers, for an undisclosed sum.

Wingefors said the company targets “entrepreneurs with a successful record” and then takes a hands-off approach with them.

“From a commercial standpoint, we don’t have central, commercial decision-making,” he said. “Looking at other companies, they’ve struggled when they put too many layers of directors and management and start controlling creators, that’s when they start falling apart.”

He also said he doesn’t want the company to be over reliant on small number of hit products.

“If you can make one game, you have a big business risk but if you make 200 games, like we do, the business risk is less,” he said.

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Just hope it's all going to be worth it in the end

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