Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara to acquire majority stake in Turkish mobile game publisher

In its first deal since going public, Nazara Technologies is acquiring a controlling stake in Publishme, a mobile game publisher in Turkey and the Middle East.
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Nazara Technologies, which was India's first gaming company to go public, has signed a binding term sheet to acquire a majority stake in Publishme — the largest mobile game publishing agency in the Middle East and Turkey.

Nazara will be paying Rs 20 crore for 69.82 percent stake by way of primary and secondary transaction through its subsidiary.

This is the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed gaming major's first deal after IPO and will allow it to strengthen its presence in the region. Mumbai-headquartered Nazara already has a presence in Africa and North America.

Nazara Founder & Jt MD, Nitish Mittersain, said, "MENA is a key geography for us and this acquisition will help us in establishing ourselves as a key player in the region. We are excited to have someone with deep regional knowledge and capabilities like Özgür [Publishme founder] and his team join the ‘Friends of Nazara’ network."

Publishme is a full-service games marketing and publishing agency that works extensively with gaming publishers in Turkey and the MENA region. It will help Nazara beef up its freemium game offerings and allow it to build local execution capabilities.

Publishme CEO Özgür Özalp said in a statement,

"We are delighted to join Nazara and lead the company's foray in the MENA region. MENA is one of the fastest-growing gaming markets, with an estimated size of $4.8 billion, and has over 160 million gamers (of which 100 million are mobile gamers). Our alliance with Nazara offers a unique blend of network, global reach and local capabilities to further the growth of the gaming industry in the region."

The ‘Friends of Nazara’ network now comprises gaming companies in which Nazara holds majority stakes. These include Nodwin Gaming, which recently raised funds from PUBG developer Krafton, and SportsKeeda in esports; Next Wave Multimedia, which owns the cricket simulation game World Cricket Championship (WCC); and Paper Boat Apps, developers of the gamified learning platform Kiddopia.

Nazara also owns majority stakes in Halaplay (fantasy sports app) and Qunami (skill-based, fantasy and trivia games platform).

"Nazara's initiatives of developing own gaming and esports IPs and distribute them across platforms and the efforts to build capability and capacity to create highly engaging content IPs in last two years are yielding positive results," CEO Manish Agarwal said in a prior statement.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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