Supercell acquired a 62 per cent stake in UK-based Space Ape Games for $55.8 million – a deal which places a total equity value of $90 million on the latter.
Space Ape was founded in 2012 and makes popular mobile games including Samurai Siege, Rival Kingdoms and Transformers: Earth Wars.
Describing it as long term strategic partnership, Space Ape Games CEO John Earner said: “We are masters of our own destiny and have operational independence to run our company as we see fit.”
The structure is similar to the way Supercell operates with its owner Tencent.
“This is a long-range partnership with long-range outcomes,” Earner explained, adding Supercell will help Space Ape Games make and distribute massive hit games “when and if we need that support.”
Earner said the idea to work with Supercell was first discussed in early 2016. He described Supercell as a “kindred” company, which loves games “as much as we do” and works in a similar way “in small, collaborative teams.”
“Supercell is patient, innovative, ambitious, and enormously successful.”
According to TechCrunch, Supercell is buying out stakes from previous investors, which include Accel, Northzone and Sega. Space Ape Games turned profitable in Q4 2016, when it generated net income of $5 million on revenue of $92 million.
Supercell is, of course, a much bigger company. In 2016 it posted net income of €917 million, up from €848 million in 2015.
In September 2016 Supercell acquired a 51 per cent stake in gaming start-up Frogmind for €7 million, and in April 2017 invested $2.9 million in Shipyard.