Lars Wingfors started his business selling comic books by mail. Since then, he has raised $2.4 billion as founder, co-owner and CEO of the Swedish Embracer Group. The company owns eight major video game publishers, 69 studios, and 240 game consoles. It is currently financially larger than Ubisoft and is worth $13 billion.
Although the Embracer brand may not get much attention, some of the 69 development studios and publishers are well known in the gaming industry, including THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, and Deep Silver and will. Two deals closed recently in February, in which it acquired Gearbox Entertainment and Aspyr Media. Embracer has more than 7,000 employees in 45 different countries.
Although the company's financial position appears very prominent, Bloomberg notes that growth through mergers and acquisitions can be dangerous. Embracer failed to launch a trilogy in 2020 and contributed significantly to popular "level two" games to maintain revenue.
"A huge risk to non-metallic growth stories in the gaming industry, what always happens when their goals are achieved - can they grow naturally?" said Matthew Kanterman, technology analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. "I don't think we're still at that point with Embracer, but it's an issue that needs to be addressed down the road."
While it may be difficult to see what the Embracer's "bottom of the road" is further into the future, its short-term goals are clear. The company is currently seeking a listing on the NASDAQ Stockholm stock exchange to exit its home market. It is also looking at double listings in other markets, but Embracer did not specify them. Both steps provide more capital to secure future mergers. p>
Sweden's video game CEO nearly doubles his fortune in just one year, from $1.4 billion to $2.4 billion
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