Azerion Holding B.V. (Azerion), a pan-European gaming and adtech company, reached an agreement with its co-shareholder, Elisa Oyj, to acquire the remaining 49% shares in Finnish game studio, Sulake Oy.
The studio is best known for publishing popular social games including Habbo, which has a monthly active user base of 800k across 115 countries. The studio is also responsible for the popular social mobile game Hotel Hideaway, which attracts 840k active players monthly.
Azerion has held a 51% stake in the game studio since 2018 and has been helping to drive revenue growth, which has increased by 46% on average year-on-year (January 2019 - December 2020). The transaction will enable Sulake to take full advantage of Azerion’s growing ecosystem. It will ensure the publisher can expand its global game communities, increase ingame monetization and strengthen its game development capacity. The deal also means Sulake’s gamers will be able to leverage promotions provided via the Azerion network, which continues to grow through acquisitions like Spil Games’ Portal business and Woozworld.
Umut Akpinar, co-founder and CEO: “Sulake has proven to be a great fit for our gaming and adtech platform and Elisa has remained a very loyal and supportive partner over the past years. Together, we re-energised the game studio, which is now a profitable and flourishing business.
We have full confidence in the current Sulake team. They are working well to develop a pipeline of new games while continuing to grow their existing games and communities. We support the decisions they are making and are committed to helping them achieve future plans.”
Valtteri Karu, Sulake CEO: "Azerion has been supporting us to grow and develop Habbo and Hotel Hideaway for over two years now so this acquisition feels like a natural continuation of our partnership. We're happy to continue our journey with Azerion as there is a lot of synergy with Sulake and all the Azerion businesses.
With Azerion's help and support we were able to modernize Habbo and to ensure its future, whilst working as an independent unit having full control over design and development decisions. This year we look forward to adding features and expanding Habbo and Hotel Hideaway. We will also be looking at possibilities to develop new games utilising our current game technology.”
The complete Sulake leadership and team of 96 will remain in place. The game studio will continue to operate from its base in Helsinki, Finland with full responsibility for existing games and improvements. This means that nothing will change for the Sulake game communities as a result of this acquisition.
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