Mail.Ru Group Limited (MAIL.IL), one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking Internet market, announces the acquisition of 100% of ESforce, one of the largest eSports companies globally.
Mail.Ru Group will acquire 100% of ESforce in an all-cash transaction. The purchase price will be $100m less any outstanding debt at closing, with a further KPI-related payment at the end of 2018.
An independent committee of the board was formed to oversee the acquisition process and to advise non-interested directors. The committee received third-party assessments from both Deloitte and Morgan Stanley. The transaction has been approved by all non-interested and independent directors.
The eSports market continues to see very fast growth. In 2018, Superdata estimate the global market will be around $1.6bn with around 300m users. ESforce is one of the largest eSports companies in the world, and is the largest in Russia and Eastern Europe. The company has built a full ecosystem where it occupies a leading position:
Ownership of two world-class clubs: Virtus Pro and SK.
Epic eSports Events, organizing EPICENTER and a series of tournaments among teams in Dota 2 and CS:GO.
14 websites, 209 social media groups and video production studios creating live streams, attracting over 82M of annual unique users.
Media Cybersport.ru and Cybersport.com, which include CyberBase, the largest database in global eSports.
Yota Arena in Moscow, one of the world's largest eSports tournament venues of over 5,000 m2 and over 1,000 seats.
Trading and analytics platforms.
eSports' international merchandising retailer Fragstore.
In 2017 the business had 116m users, 440m sessions and over 120m hours watched of online content via streaming platforms. 2017 revenues are expected to be around $19m which was around 150% growth on the year before. USD and EUR revenue accounted for around 60% of total revenues with ads and rewards making up almost 80% of revenues with the balance from merchandising, events and content. With the bulk of the fixed investment now undertaken we would expect to see ESforce revenue growth between 80-100%.
Mail.Ru Group CEO (Russia) Boris Dobrodeev:
"We are very pleased that the talented team who have been responsible for building this businesswill all be remaining with the business.We will be looking to leverage our unrivalled position inside of the social networks and gaming in order todriveESforce to even great success."