Canadian Gaming Firms Join Forces

Posted: Feb 10, 2021
Ryan Niblock

In the latest in our series of 'Deal of the Week', Ryan Niblock, from our Corporate Finance department gives his thoughts on Leaf Mobile Inc’s £115m acquisition of East Side Games Inc.

Leaf Mobile is a leading developer of free to play mobile games based in Vancouver, Canada. The games Leaf develops have a strong loyalty with customers as they build games with developing stories which has enabled them to build a high growth recurring revenue technology platform.  

East Side Games was founded in 2011, and is head quartered in British Columbia, Canada. East Side is also a free to play mobile game developer who has recently been recognised as a “Top 50 Mobile Gamer Makers 2020”. East Side is best known for developing games such as, The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s” and “It’s Always Sunny: The Gang Goes Mobile”.

Key takeaways about the deal

  • Leaf Mobile has developed an acquisitive growth strategy, looking to diversify their portfolio by obtaining new IP licenses and acquiring profitable games. This is Leaf’s second acquisition in two years after they acquired  LDRLY (Technologies) in 2019.   
  • The combination of Leaf’s organic and acquisitive growth has enabled them to graduate to the Toronto Stock Exchange from the TSX Venture Exchange. 
  • The Pandemic has seen a switch in consumer behaviour with gaming seeing a boost with people being urged to stay at home, as a result the gaming sector has seen a significant increase in the amount of M&A activity with larger industry players snapping up smaller development studios to secure new IP licenses.
  • 2021 looks to be an especially good year for the sector with huge companies such as Electronic Arts Inc and Embracer Group announcing high-profile transactions due to complete within the next few months.  

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