E-sports firm ESL picks up minority stake in Nazara Tech

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on February 08, 2018 Published on February 09, 2018

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies   -  BL

Signs licence agreement with NODWIN Gaming

ESL, a part of international digital entertainment group MTG and an e-sports company, has picked up a minority stake in gaming firm Nazara Technologies Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

The investment comes after IIFL and and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala put in ₹330 crore and ₹180 crore respectively in Nazara.

Founded in 2000, ESL runs amateur-to-professional leagues.

These range from online tournaments to major global mega stadium events worldwide, and distributing its content and original programming across digital and linear channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Sony Vue, Disney XP and Hulu.

Additionally, ESL has signed a licence agreement with NODWIN Gaming, an Indian e-sports firm.

Under the deal, NODWIN secures multi-year exclusive licensing rights for the ESL system and ESL community platform for organising and operating ESL competitions in India.

Distribution rights

It also secures media distribution rights of ESL global content for local linear and digital platforms in the Indian subcontinent.

Some of ESL’s well-known competitions include the ESL National Championship, ESL ProLeague, ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters.

Ralf Reichert, co-founder and CEO, ESL, said: “Our goal is to bring e-sports to players and fans all around the world. We believe that Nazara, one of the leading mobile games companies, will help us in expanding our operations through strategic local partnerships.”

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies, said: “We look forward to partnering with ESL to bring global games to India and other emerging markets.”

IPO plans

Nazara has filed a draft prospectus with market regulator SEBI to sell shares in an initial public offering (IPO).

It plans to sell 5,543,052 equity shares held by two existing shareholders — investor WestBridge Ventures Investment Holdings will sell an around 19.21 per cent stake in the company while promoter company Mitter Infotech will sell around 1.33 per cent equity, according to the draft prospectus.

Nazara’s total revenues for the six-month period ended September 30, 2017 was ₹83.89 crore and its net profit for the same period was ₹19.84 crore.

The company has invested in mobile gaming firms such as NextWave MultiMedia, Mastermind Sports, Moong Labs and HalaPlay.

Published on February 09, 2018
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