Squire Patton Boggs Advises Keywords Studios plc on Three International Acquisitions

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    Squire Patton Boggs has advised Keywords Studios plc, the international technical services provider to the global video games industry, in three cross-border acquisitions in the past two weeks.

    Established in 1998, Keywords Studios provides integrated art creation, localisation, testing, audio and customer care services across 50 languages and 14 games platforms to a blue chip client base in more than 15 countries.

    In the first transaction, a team led by corporate partners, Matthew Doughty in London and Sungbo Shim in Beijing, advised AIM-listed Keywords Studios on an agreement to acquire the business and assets of Mindwalk Studios for a total consideration of US$5.5 million. Founded in 2004, Beijing-based Mindwalk provides outsourced art creation services to the video games industry internationally. The acquisition gives Keywords access to Chinese game developers and publishers and to the Chinese market for video game art talent, which is the largest in the world, as well as an additional base for the provision of art services to clients in North America, Europe and the Far East.

    In a second transaction, a Squire Patton Boggs team led by Madrid Corporate partner Rafael Alonso and Matthew Doughty, acted for Keywords on an agreement with the selling shareholders of Kite Team, a specialist in game localisation for Latin America and Spain, to acquire the 50% of Kite Team not already owned by Keywords 20 months sooner than originally provided for under the terms of the acquisition agreement of 2015 in order to deliver the operational benefits of the full integration of the companies earlier than planned. Kite Team is a leader in games localisation and audio recording for both Iberian and Latin American Spanish, serving a blue chip client base of global video game publishers and developers from its audio recording and localisation studios in Madrid and Mexico.

    In the third and most recent transaction, partners Matthew Doughty and Volker Heidbüchel in Berlin led a team advising Keywords on the acquisition of the Synthesis group of companies that provide localisation, audio and localisation testing services to leading video game developers and publishers. In particular, Keywords acquired Synthesis Global Solutions SA in Switzerland, Sillabit S.R.L. in Milan, Italy and Synthesis Deutschland GmbH in Hamburg, Germany from the founders. The acquisition adds new studios in Germany, France and Taiwan and provides further penetration for Keywords existing studios in Latin America, the US, Asia and Europe.

    “We’re pleased our international capabilities and local market knowledge has been able to support a much-valued client seize these global business opportunities,” commented Matthew Doughty.

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