22 Jan 2018 14:25

Mail.ru acquires 100% of ESForce

MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) - Mail.ru Group has announced the acquisition of 100% of eSports company ESForce from Anton Cherepennikov and Highland Falls Investment, the Russian internet company said in a statement.

The deal will be closed in Q1 2018. The purchase price will be $100 million less any outstanding debt at closing, with a further KPI related payment at the end of 2018 connected to specific financial and operating targets. The further additional is likely to be around $20 million.

Mail.ru Group will fully consolidate ESForce results.

ESForce owns the Virtus.pro and SK Gaming eSports clubs as well as Epic Esports Events, which organizes international tournaments, 14 websites, 209 social media groups, the RuHub comment, analysis and video production studio, the Cybersport.ru and Cybersport.com eSport websites and the Yota Arena in Moscow, one of the world's largest eSports tournament venues.

In 2017 the business had 116 million users and 440 million sessions.

The company is expecting revenues of around $19 million in 2017, a growth of around 150% on 2016. Revenues in dollars and euros account for around 60% of the total; approximately 80% of revenue comes from advertising and prize money.

The company expects ESForce revenue to grow 80%-100% and losses to halve in 2018. EBITDA was an estimated negative $15 million in 2017.

MTS has also completed a deal in eSports. The company acquired Praliss Enterprises which manages Gambit Esports, an organization made up of four teams of 16 players in the most popular eSport games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2 and FIFA.