Following speculation that began in September 2023, global investment firm Carlyle has successfully sold developer and publisher Jagex to an investment consortium comprised of CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII and Haveli Investments.
Best known for their RuneScape games, the series is something of a legend in gaming history having been around for over 20 years and currently toting over 2.4 million active, fee-paying subscribers. In total the company has over 300 million lifetime RuneScape acccounts and currently employs a staff of 700.
Restructured and renewed
Phil Mansell, CEO of Jagex, took to LinkedIn to say, “Super pleased to - officially - announce that we have struck an agreement for CVC and Haveli to acquire Jagex from Carlyle Group. Jagex has been on a transformational journey in recent years, adding further growth to our RuneScape communities, modernising our live games tech and publishing capabilities, and diversifying Jagex into an international group of talented studios. Carlyle have really helped make our vision of a community-driven forever games platform a reality, and together with the expertise of CVC and Haveli we intend to level-up again. Getting to know the impressive CVC and Haveli teams over the last year has been a pleasure and we're all excited to be working together for this next chapter for Jagex.
"I want to reiterate my deep appreciation for the teams across Jagex Group whose hard work and ingenuity have driven this amazing growth story, for our internal deal team whose tireless efforts made this transaction possible, and our advisors for supporting us so well through the process.”
Patrick McCarter, Managing Director and Co-Head of Global Technology, and Andrew Tan, Principal in the CETP investment advisory team, said: “We are proud to have partnered with Jagex at such an important point in its development. The investment and innovation delivered by the team over the last few years has strengthened Jagex’s position as a leader in forever games with a unique and world-class platform. This success illustrates the capabilities of Carlyle’s global platform, with our European and US technology teams collaborating to support Jagex’s growth, and we believe the business is now well-placed to build upon its position as one of the most exciting games developers today. It has been a pleasure to work with Phil and the team, and we wish the company every success on this next chapter.”
Sixth time lucky
This marks the sixth new owner for the company since 2012, when the Insight Venture Partners took a majority share. 2016 saw Hongtou take the reins, which was subsequently acquired by Zhongji Holdings (which changed its name to Fukong Interactive Entertainment). This was followed by Macarthur Fortune Holdings in 2020 and, finally, current owner The Carlyle Group in 2021, which purchased Jagex for $530 million.
At the time of writing the sale price of Jagex in today's deal has not been disclosed. Previously Reuters valued the sale at a potential £1 billion ($1.25 billion)