In keeping with our mission to provide comprehensive advertising analysis, MediaRadar puts together a report of the most important mergers and acquisitions news each week. Stay in the loop, whether you sell advertising space or focus on business development.
Microsoft gains ZeniMax Media
Microsoft finalized its $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of video game studios Bethesda Softworks, Arkane, id Software, and more.
As part of the deal, games produced under the ZeniMax umbrella, which includes titles such as Fallout, Skyrim, and Doom, will be made available on Microsoft’s XBox. Microsoft has created a new subsidiary called Vault to merge with ZeniMax as part of the acquisition deal.
Microsoft aims to boost its Xbox offering while competing with console rivals Sony’s Playstation and Nintendo’s Switch.
The deal marks Microsoft’s biggest gaming acquisition since paying $2.5 billion for Mojang, developer of Minecraft in 2014.
Callaway Golf merges with Topgolf
Callaway Golf completed its merger with Topgolf in an all-stock deal which values the company around $2 billion.
Callaway had invested in Topgolf by purchasing a 14% stake in the company back in 2006.
Topgolf currently operates 63 locations around the world. Players enter a climate-controlled driving range and play games using microchipped balls. The venues also serve food and beverages, making them destinations for parties.
In 2019, the company attracted 23 million guests, generating $1.1 billion in revenue, with roughly half of all visitors identifying as non-golfers.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Callaway will issue around 90 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Topgolf and Callaway will own approximately 51.5% of Topgolf.
Franchise Group acquires Pet Supplies Plus
Sentinel Capital Partners announced it has sold Pet Supplies Plus to Franchise Group, Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at $700 million. Pet Supplies Plus estimates a total EBITDA revenue of $80 million for the current fiscal year.
Sentinel acquired Pet Supplies Plus in December 2018 and has since seen the franchise add numerous new storefronts across the United States, including a recent expansion into the Northeast region that added another 40 locations, bringing its total number of storefronts over 500.
Last year, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Pet Supplies Plus as the #21 in its list of fastest growing franchises.
The deal comes after the pet retailer saw an uptick in sales, up 76.4% in the wake of the pandemic, as many people have more time at home to train and take care of pets. Pet Supplies Plus outperformed its competitors in this pandemic surge, with Petco and PetSmart sales rising 41.8% and 36% respectively.
Franchise Group owns mostly companies which specialize in tax preparation, its largest franchise being Liberty Tax Services. The holding company also owns American Freight, Buddy’s Home Furnishings, and the Vitamin Shoppe.
In Other News
Many deals were finalized and announced this week:
- Entercom is expanding its podcasting platform with a $22.5 million acquisition of podcasting ad-tech company Podcorn.
- Nestle has announced the completion of its acquisition of premium water brand Essentia Water.
- Waitr Holdings Inc., an on-demand food ordering and delivery company, announced that it is acquiring food delivery company, Delivery Dudes, for $23 million in stock and cash.
- Investment management firm Apollo Global Management, Inc. and retirement services company Athene Holding announced that they are merging in an all-stock transaction that values Athene at $11 billion.
- Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. announced that it is acquiring timeshare-resort operator Diamond Resorts International, Inc. from Apollo Global Management, Inc. for $1.4 billion.
- According to Bloomberg, internet media company BuzzFeed Inc. is reportedly in talks to go public via a merger with 890 5th Avenue Partners Inc., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- According to Nikkei, Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corporation is mulling an acquisition of U.S. software firm Blue Yonder Group Inc. in a deal that could be worth $6.5 billion.
- Roblox, an online gaming platform and game creation system company that surged in popularity during the pandemic, went public this Wednesday in a direct listing.