Cowgills Corporate Finance has advised market-leading games developer and publisher Marmalade Game Studio (Marmalade) on a £22.5m investment by leading mid-market private equity firm LDC.
Marmalade is a UK developer of mobile, console and PC board games. Its catalogue includes games such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Game of Life, licensed by gaming giants such as Hasbro, with its most recent addition, Jumanji, inspired by the feature film.
The firm said the investment will support the management team’s “ambitious” organic growth strategy and future game launches.
Sam Davies, partner in Cowgills corporate finance team, said: “We were introduced to the management team at Marmalade by a long-time client of Cowgills. This was a challenging and significant deal to deliver under extreme time pressure, especially as there were multiple and complex levels of stakeholders involved and we wanted to ensure the best outcome for everyone.
“It was a great example of how to swiftly take control of an MBO and ensure the very best result for our client, which culminated in them acquiring a significant equity stake in the company. This was a significant improvement on the previous deal that had been presented to them and we are extremely pleased to have been able to support them on this exciting venture.”
It also revealed LDC’s investment will support the existing management team, led by joint CEOs Michael Willis and Cristina Mereuta, as they invest in the development of new games and recruiting new talent. The pair has already led the business through a period of “exceptional growth” over recent years, with revenues growing by over 100 per cent in the last three years.
The investment in Marmalade was led by Dale Alderson, Jacob Leone and Aziz Ul-Haq at LDC in Manchester. As part of the transaction, Anderson and Leone will also join the board, alongside inbound non-executive chairman Andrew Graham.
Mereuta added: “We were really impressed with the support provided by the whole Cowgills team, there was just an immediate chemistry and trust with the team. They matched us with a partner with whom we had total synergy. We are incredibly grateful to Sam, Brad and the team at Cowgills.”