Add another gaming acquisition to Tencent’s seemingly endless shopping spree, as the Chinese giant has announced its intentions to acquire Sheffield, England-based Sumo Group for £919 million. In November of 2019, Tencent bought an 8.75% minority stake in Sumo, and if approved by shareholders, would see complete ownership transfer to the Shenzhen-based company.
London Stock Exchange-listed Sumo was founded in 2003 and has done development work for clients including Apple, Sega, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony on hit titles such as LittleBigPlanet, Sonic, Hitman, and Forza.
This is the second major games industry buy out of a UK company, as California-based Electronic Arts snapped up Codemasters back in February for a cool £945 million.
Tencent is seconded only by Sony in terms of revenues, as the company’s portfolio already includes Supercell, Finland-based makers of Clash of Clans, and Riot Games, US-based producers of League of Legends. The conglomerate also has minority stakes in Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, Voodoo, Frontier Developments, and Ubisoft.
Sumo’s non-executive chairman, and co-founder at Hiro Capital, Ian Livingstone commented, "The Board of Sumo firmly believes the business will benefit from Tencent's broad videogaming eco-system, proven industry expertise, and its strategic resources.”
Sumo counts 14 games development studios in five countries including Poland and the UK, with a headcount of approximately 1,200. No indication was given regarding staffing changes, however, co-founders Paul Porter and Darren Mills, as well as CEO Carl Cavers are expected to stay on in their roles.
"The opportunity to work with Tencent is one we just couldn't miss," said Cavers.