Menu PocketGamer.biz
Search
Home   >   News

Embracer Group to split into three separate companies as it aims to pay off debts

New entities will be Asmodee Group, Coffee Stain & Friends and Middle-Earth Enterprises & Friends
Embracer Group to split into three separate companies as it aims to pay off debts
  • Asmodee shares will be listed within next 12 months, while Coffee Stain & friends will be spun-off in 2025
  • Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors said he will remain an active owner of all three entities
  • Through Asmodee, Embracer has entered into a $962 million financing agreement to help repay its debts, secured by the tabletop publisher's assets

Embattled publisher Embracer Group is splitting into three separate publicly listed companies as the firm dismantles itself following a years-long buying spree.

The company has laid off over a thousand employees and sold off a number of studios as it struggled to clear $1.5 billion in debt accrued from its aggressive M&A strategy.

Last year a $2 billion investment, reported to be Savvy Games Group, fell through at the last minute, prompting a company-wide restructure and the sale of the likes of Saber Interactive and Gearbox.

Spin-offs

Under the plans announced today, Asmodee Group will become a new publicly listed company, handling tabletop publishing and distribution business. It will house 23 fully-owned studios with access to 300+ IPs, including Ticket To Ride, Exploding Kittens and Catan. 

Coffee Stain & Friends will focus on indie and double-A premium and free-to-play titles for PC, console and mobile. It will include companies such as DECA Games, Easy Brain, AMplifier Invest and THQ Nordic.

Middle-Earth Enterprises & Friends, meanwhile, will operate as a triple-A developer and publisher in the PC and console space, retaining previously acquired IP rights to the likes of The Lords of the Rings and Tomb Raider. Companies housed within the new organisation include Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, Plaion, Dark Horse and Freemode.

Embracer Group will be renamed to Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends, while shares of Asmodee Group and Coffee Stain & Friends will be listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and distributed as a dividend to Embracer Group shareholders.

Asmodee's share listing is expected to take place within the next 12 months, while Coffee Stain & friends will be officially spun-off in 2025.

While Embracer said it has completed its restructure program, it stated that the full capital structure of Asmodee and Coffee Stain & Friends will be reviewed prior to being spun-off.

New financing deal

Through Asmodee, Embracer has entered into a financing agreement with JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, SEB, Societe Generale and Swedbank worth 10.5 billion kr ($962 million) to help repay the publisher’s debts. The loan is secured by Asmodee assets.

In a presentation to investors, Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors said the move would also enable Asmodee opportunities for further M&A activity for Asmodee Group.

Leadership roles

Current Asmodee deputy CEO Thomas Koegler will become the newly spun-off company’s CEO in the coming months. Current CEO Stéphane Carville and COO Marc Nunes will join the board of directors.

Coffee Stain CEO Anton Westbergh will lead separation of the new company Coffee Stain & Friends. Chief strategy officer Phil Rogers will lead the separation of Middle-Earth Enterprises & Friends.

Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors said he will remain an active owner of all three entities. A statement to investors said, as the largest shareholder, he intends to form a new long-term ownership structure, including his current holdings in the group which includes approximately 20% of capital and 40% voting rights.

“The time is right for Embracer to become three public companies, each boasting sufficient scale, coherent strategies, specialised business models and empowered by visionary leadership teams,” said Wingefors.

“Rather than imposing conformity on thriving businesses, we should foster an environment that amplifies existing success. I am confident that this will be easier with three distinct winning formulas in specific market segments.”