Six Nations Rugby backers could acquire ‘Runescape’ developers Jagex for £900million

Jagex, the developers of massively multiplayer online role-playing game Runescape, could be acquired by a private equity firm for £900million.

The Carlyle Group has owned the Cambridge-based developer since January 2021 but according to Sky News, CVC Capital Partners is looking to buy the studio in a bid to acquire more companies with a strong, international userbase.

CVC Capital Partners is a ”leading global alternative investment manager” based in Luxembourg. They boast a portfolio worth over £142billion, covering everything from luxury yachts to pharmaceuticals. They own the LaLiga football league in Spain, the UK’s rugby premiership as well as the annual Six Nations Rugby tournament, alongside breakdown company the RAC and delivery service Hermes.

“City sources said CVC had seen off competition from a number of rival bidders for Jagex and could sign a formal agreement to buy a controlling stake in the company within days,” reads the report, with conversations about the buyout starting last year.

It’s said The Carlyle Group were hoping to sell for £1billion but many investors cast doubt over Jagex’s business plan and development pipeline.

If it goes ahead, CVC will be the fourth company to acquire Jagex in the past decade. Shanghai Hongtou initially purchased the company in 2016 before selling it to Macarthur Fortune Holding in 2020 for £419million. Carlyle Group purchased it the following year for an undisclosed sum. According to the Financial Times, Jagex reported annual revenue of £125million in 2021, with a profit of £37million.

Neither The Carlyle Group, CVC or Jagex have commented on the potential acquisition.

In 2022, it was announced Jagex would be working on an open-world survival game set within the Runescape universe and built on Unreal Engine 5 while Old School Runescape is currently gearing up for a massive, HD update. 

In other news, Final Fantasy series producer Yoshinori Kitase has said he wanted to remake Final Fantasy 7 to avoid it becoming “that game my dad played”.

 
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