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

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

NOAH Advisors’ 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