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Netflix to acquire Finnish mobile game developer for $72 million: Details here

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As Finland mulls joining NATO in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, another bit of M&A is going down in the country. Today, Netflix announced that it would be acquiring Finland’s Next Games, a developer of mobile games, for a total value of €65 million ($72 million). Next Games is listed on the public markets in Helsinki, and the deal is being done as an all-cash share purchase at €2.10 in case per share. The board of the gaming company has already approved the deal and is recommending it to shareholders, although it has yet to be completed. It is expected to close in Q2 2022.

The deal is part of Netflix’s bigger strategy to build out its gaming content as a complement to its video catalog, and Next Games is a perfect fit. The free-to-play mobile games publisher already has developed titles related to some of Netflix’s biggest draws, such as “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead” — meaning the two companies already had a strong relationship. This deal will cement that, and improve Netflix’s margins beyond simply licensing the brands by bringing in-house Next Games’ IP, talent, and existing business selling in-app purchases.

Netflix acquires Next Games for $72 million

Netflix’s deal for Next Games is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions. Under the terms of the agreement, Netflix is offering €2.10 in cash per share of Next Games, for a total equity value of approximately €65 million ($72 million). The offer is a nearly 70% premium over the volume-weighted average price per share (€1.24) of Next Game’s stock over the previous six-month period and 125.6% over the March 1 closing price.

The board of directors of Next Games has unanimously voted to recommend that shareholders accept Netflix’s tender offer. With the Netflix acquisition, Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen is expected to remain with the company. “There are no plans to make changes in the Next Games leadership team at the moment,” a Next Games management said.

The deal comes less than six months after Netflix’s acquisition of Night School Studio, a game developer best known for its supernatural mystery adventure title “Oxenfree.” Netflix has launched a selection of games, starting with a handful of mobile titles, as an extension to its core video entertainment for no extra charge.

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