RuneScape maker Jagex to be acquired for over $1 billion, with CVC Capital Partners named as buyer

RuneScape developer Jagex might be sold to Luxembourg-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. The studio’s current owner Carlyle Group has been looking for potential buyers for several months now.

RuneScape maker Jagex to be acquired by CVC Capital Partners for over $1 billion

  • As reported by SkyNews, CVC Capital Partners is now in “advanced talks” with Carlyle Group to acquire Jagex for about £900 million ($1.13 billion).
  • The agreement could be signed within days. According to the publication, CVC currently “explores new ways to invest in intellectual property assets with large international fan-bases.”
  • Carlyle Group first announced its plans to sell Jagex in September 2023, valuing the RuneScape maker at £1 billion ($1.26 billion).
  • It was reported that potential buyers were likely to include private equity firms, which could use the studio as an asset to buy a number of smaller game developers.

Founded in 1999, Jagex is a UK developer and publisher based in Cambridge. It is best known for its free-to-play MMORPG RuneScape, which has generated over $1 billion in lifetime revenue and reached over 300 million players since 2001.

Over its 24-year history, the studio has gone through several owners, including Macarthur Fortune Holding and Chinese investment firm Hongtou. Carlyle Group acquired Jagex in 2021 for more than $530 million, but the exact financial terms of the deal remained undisclosed.

As a publisher, Jagex distributed games such as MMORTS War of Legends, sandbox title Ace of Spades, and looter shooter Space Punks. It also has two subsidiaries, co-development studio Pipeworks Studios and SCUM creator Gamepires.

In 2021, the studio reported a record £125 million ($157 million) in revenue. Last year, its annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were estimated at £60 million and were expected to increase by over 10% in 2024.

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