Bigpoint Transaction Case Study

NOAH Advisors identified the Bigpoint opportunity early on, and re-introduced the deal to Summit Partners and TA Associates based on superior insight into the situation

NOAH Advisors Completed Transaction Bigpoint

Deal Team

Heiko Hubertz, Arthur Bastings, Simon Guild, Nils Holger Henning, Philip Reisberger, Tobias Reisberger, Michael Gutsmann, Jan Wergin
Summit Partners:
Scott Collins, Christian Strain, Vincent Lambert, Nicolas Slim, Ronan Gouello
TA Associates:
John Meeks, Morgan Seigler, Khaled Heliouli
NOAH Advisors:
Marco Rodzynek, Jan Brandes, 
Yoram Wijngaarde

Overview of Bigpoint

  • Bigpoint was founded in 2002 by Heiko Hubertz (co-CEO) in Hamburg and has become a globally leading online gaming company, with over 185m registered users in over 150 countries, 250,000 daily registrations, millions of paying users, and 1 million+ concurrent users
  • Its 60 active browser games in 25 languages include core games such as Seafight and DarkOrbit, next-generation 3D games such Battlestar Galactica Online, and casual-social games such as Farmerama and Zoomumba. A strong pipeline includes The Mummy and RamaCity
  • Bigpoint’s games are free-to-play, with paid virtual items. Paying users spend an average of circa €20 ($29) per month and purchase over a billion virtual items every day
  • Bigpoint is one of the best-positioned online gaming platforms, in the sweet-spot of a market with several structural growth dynamics (fast growing $15b+ online gaming market, the $2.5b+ free-to-play model outgrowing the market) and better developer risk-return characteristics
  • Bigpoint has built an industry-leading platform in terms of user analytics, virtual items sales, a diversified portfolio of strong games in different segments, coupled with a strong pipeline
  • The company’s strong growth track-record, industry-leading profit margins, and high-quality management team made it a highly attractive investment opportunity for TA and Summit

Transaction Summary

  • TA Associates and Summit Partners are jointly investing $350 million for a majority stake. Heiko Hubertz, Bigpoint’s founder and co-chief executive, will retain his 30% stake
  • Comcast Interactive Capital, GMT Communications and General Electric sell down their stakes. GMT and GE will retain a minority stake. GMT and NBC Universal acquired a 70% stake in June ‘08 at a $110m valuation. They have made a fivefold return on their investment
  • Although Bigpoint is not raising new funds as part of the deal, the new partners will help it to expand internationally, make acquisitions and develop software
  • Completion is subject to regulatory approval and other standard conditions

NOAH Advisor’s Role

  • Bigpoint has been a close relationship of NOAH Advisors for close to two years
  • NOAH had intensively followed Bigpoint as a potential transaction opportunity and re-introduced the deal to Summit Partners and TA Associates based on superior insight into the situation
  • NOAH Advisors acted as exclusive M&A financial advisor to Summit and TA, bringing in-depth knowledge of the online gaming sector, the company, and intelligence around the opportunity

Bigpoint @ NOAH

This exclusive artwork has been specifically created for the celebration of this deal by Marco Bombach.
It was given as present to the Bigpoint founder Heiko Hubertz.

Acrylic on Boxed Canvas
Image size: 100 x 81cm

Please click the image to enlarge.