Summit Partners and TA Associates will invest $350 million to recap Hamburg-based online gaming company Bigpoint GmbH. TA Associates and Summit Partners jointly will own a controlling share of Bigpoint. Previous shareholder Comcast Interactive Capital’s Peacock Equity Fund will sell their holdings in this transaction. GMT Communications Partners and GE will sell a majority of their stakes, the company said in a written release. Montgomery & Co. acted as advisor for Bigpoint; and NOAH Advisors acted as advisor for Summit Partners and TA Associates.
Bigpoint GmbH, a worldwide leader in online gaming platforms, today announced that Summit Partners and TA Associates have signed definitive documentation to invest $350 million to recapitalize the company and position it for continued strong global growth.
“The investment by TA Associates and Summit Partners is a validation of Bigpoint’s leadership position within the gaming industry, and will give us a huge boost toward becoming one of the most successful gaming companies worldwide,” said Heiko Hubertz, CEO and Founder of Bigpoint. “Summit Partners and TA Associates are supporting Bigpoint’s international expansion — a course we set out upon in recent months with the opening of new offices in the United States and Brazil. I’m looking forward to a future partnership of mutual trust and cooperation.”
TA Associates and Summit Partners jointly will own a controlling share of Bigpoint. Previous shareholder Comcast Interactive Capital’s Peacock Equity Fund will sell their holdings in this transaction. GMT Communications Partners and GE will sell a majority of their stakes. Hubertz will retain his existing ownership stake. “Regarding myself, I kept my share,” said Hubertz. “I see the potential in Bigpoint to exceed a value of one billion dollars and become the top online gaming company in the world.” Added Hubertz, “Our thanks go to GMT Communications Partners and Peacock Equity Fund for three very exciting years. Their support has seen the company rapidly grow during this period.”
“We received an excellent return on our initial investment,” said Megumi Ikeda, Executive Director, Comcast Interactive Capital. “While we are selling our share, we are very optimistic about Bigpoint’s future and are continuing our operational relationship with them at NBC Universal.”
Bigpoint is one of the leading companies in online games that can be played directly in the browser. With more than 190 million registered users, the company has a varied portfolio of internationally successful and recognized games and brands, including Battlestar Galactica Online, Farmerama and DarkOrbit. The company’s over 700 employees are currently working on the next generation of gaming with upcoming blockbusters such as The Mummy Online, RamaCity and Drakensang Online. Bigpoint has offices in Hamburg, Berlin, San Francisco, São Paolo and Malta.
John Meeks, a Managing Director at TA Associates, said, “We look forward to making this investment in Bigpoint alongside Summit Partners. With a highly scalable platform, revenues diversified across numerous games and multiple geographies, and a highly attractive free-to-play model, we anticipate significant continued growth for Bigpoint.”
Scott Collins, a Managing Director at Summit Partners, said, “We look forward to working closely with TA Associates, Heiko Hubertz and the rest of the Bigpoint management team to continue growing this exceptional company.”
Summit Partners and TA Associates will join the Bigpoint Board of Directors, which consists of Founder Hubertz and Board Chairman Simon Guild. Completion is subject to regulatory approval and other standard conditions.
Montgomery & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor for Bigpoint and NOAH Advisors acted as the exclusive advisor for Summit Partners and TA Associates in the transaction process.
Bigpoint (www.bigpoint.com) is an online-game developer, publisher, and content provider for large media concerns. Bigpoint-developed games are played by over 190 million people in more than 30 languages, are free-to-play anytime, anywhere, and require no download or installation. The company’s portfolio includes games of a quality that until now were associated exclusively with CD or console games. More than 700 employees from over 35 different nations work at the company headquarters in Hamburg, Germany or at other locations in Berlin, San Francisco, São Paulo and Malta. Bigpoint’s many distinctions in the industry include the Mashable Best Online Game Award for “Farmerama”, the “Fastest Growing Larger Company” and “Uniqueness of Offering” prizes at the 2010 Media Momentum Awards, as well as the MTV Skyscraper Award for extraordinary achievement in game development. For more information or press material, please visit the press area at www.bigpoint.net.
About Summit Partners
Summit Partners (www.summitpartners.com) is a growth equity firm that invests in rapidly growing companies. Summit Partners seeks outstanding management teams that have built their companies to profitability and market leadership, and provides capital for growth, recapitalizations and management buyouts. Founded in 1984, Summit Partners has invested in more than 320 growing companies across a range of geographies and industries including technology, education, business services, healthcare, consumer and industrial products, among many others. With offices in Boston, London and Palo Alto, Summit Partners has raised more than $11 billion in capital since inception.
About TA Associates
Founded in 1968, TA Associates (www.ta.com) is one of the largest and most experienced middle-market private equity firms. The firm has invested in over 400 companies and manages more than $16 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, London, Menlo Park and Mumbai, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries.