Leading Durham law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison) has completed the sale of Silent Games, a game design studio in Newcastle to Amplifier Game Invest AB (Amplifier), for an undisclosed sum.
Amplifier is a subsidiary of the listed Swedish Embracer Group, the acquisition of Silent Games being one of 12 such global transactions recently completed by the Group and announced to the Swedish stock market simultaneously.
Silent Games was founded in 2018 by Sally Blake and Joseph Rogers, experienced developers and mentors within the British game development sector. The acquisition should see the expansion of Silent Games to a team of 30 or so from its current four employees over the next year. It is Amplifier’s first investment in the UK, which is viewed as one of the world’s strongest hubs for game development.
Selected by Silent Games after speaking to other law firms, Swinburne Maddison successfully turned the sale around in just three weeks.
Leading the transaction for Swinburne Maddison was Alex Wilby, a partner in the corporate and commercial team, who is highly experienced in mergers and acquisitions as well as regularly working with owner-managed businesses. He said: “We were delighted to be selected by Joseph and Sally to undertake the sale for them. They established the business only two years ago, so it was a marvellous opportunity for them to become part of a gaming giant like Amplifier.
“Amplifier is part of a highly acquisitive multinational company, Embracer Group, who employ almost 4,500 staff globally and whose total number of games currently under development stands at 135.
“Embracer was in the process of completing several other deals when we were appointed so it was essential to be able to complete the work at pace. Embracer needed to make a regulatory release to the Swedish stock market by a tight deadline and I’m pleased to report that all deadlines were hit without fail.
“It demonstrates that we can provide the technical and broad-based legal expertise that is essential for the successful and swift completion of a wide range of mandates and we enjoy the challenging high-quality legal work they generate.”
Commenting on the sale, director Joseph Rogers, said: “We spoke to several law firms before deciding on Swinburne Maddison, the deciding factor being Alex Wilby’s immediate understanding of our position and the nature of the transaction. They went out of their way to reassure us on costs too, but I felt huge confidence in the team, which were absolutely great to work with, happy to work long hours on our behalf and very much on the ball. We would definitely work with them again should the need arise.”
Speaking about the acquisition, Per-Arne Lundberg, CEO of Amplifier Game Invest, described Silent Games as being exactly the kind of company that he likes to support because of the team’s creativity its strong production background, its passion for engagement and its close links with the local game development community.
Joseph added: “It was a huge turning point for us selling the business as we have been a small team for over two years and our output has been limited to creative concepts with very little development work. Now, we are ramping up the team to 10 people immediately and looking to go up to about 15 by the end of 2021 with even more growth planned in the future.
“Our future focus will be on developing the games concepts that we have spent so much time conceiving in the past and we couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of releasing these to the public.
“With Amplifier’s backing it not only means more jobs for regional developers, but a boost to the regional economy. As Amplifier’s first investment in the UK, if it pays off, which only time will tell, then they will definitely be interested in expanding further here.”
Ryecroft Glenton, provided accountancy and tax advice to Silent Games. Baker McKenzie acted as legal advisers to Amplifier with Ernst & Young providing transaction support.