Starbreeze AB, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products, today announced its acquisition of the majority interest in US company Payday Productions LLC, a movie SPV company in Nevada, for a consideration of 330,000 USD (approximately 2.73 MSEK) in cash.
Previously, Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze, and Ulf Andersson, a former creative director of Starbreeze, have agreed to transfer their direct and indirect minority interests in Payday Productions LLC to Starbreeze without remuneration, subject to Starbreeze acquiring the external majority.
After the transaction, Payday Productions LLC becomes a wholly owned subsidiary within the Starbreeze Group subject to a long-term agreement being concluded in line with movie industry practice. Starbreeze expects to complete the long-term agreement and consume the acquisition during July 2015.
After the Payday Productions LLC acquisition, there will no longer be any significant immaterial property rights relating to the Payday franchise that is not held exclusively by the Starbreeze group.
Chairman Micke Hjorth further explains: “At Starbreeze, we see an ever increasing potential in the cross-fertilization between the gaming industry and other entertainment industries. Our lack of control and ownership over the movie project and TV rights were not optimal to Starbreeze, and I am very happy that we now fully control one of our core IP’s, Payday. We will now be in a superb position to even further capitalize on our franchise.”
The establishment of Payday Productions LLC early 2012 as a separate movie SPV was initiated by three professional movie producers, Demian Lichtenstein, Greg O’Connor and Steven Chance, who saw a large feature film potential in the game Payday: The Heist under commercialization by the Overkill Studio. When Starbreeze acquired the Overkill Studio in June 2012 from Varvtre AB (then held 50/50 by Bo Andersson Klint and Ulf Andersson), Payday Productions LLC and indirectly the movie, TV and other ancillary commercialization rights to the Payday games already licensed from Overkill Studio, were not included in the acquisition, and have since then not been under Starbreeze’s sole control.
The three movie producers have contributed with continuous development work regarding the film since 2012, but Payday Productions LLC has not incurred any costs or liabilities to date, and has no assets besides the Payday license. During this period Starbreeze and its Overkill Studio have been focusing on game development, in particular “Payday 2”.
Starbreeze will now cover Payday Productions LLC’s near-term project development budget up to USD 150,000, in order to increase the likelihood that a Payday movie will be successfully financed, produced and premiered. The former majority owners will remain as Payday movie producers on customary market terms, which inter alia include certain profit participation from the movie and any sequels.
One of the producers behind the movie project and Payday Productions LLC, Demian Lichtenstein, is also expected to join Starbreeze’s US operations, and indirectly become a shareholder in Starbreeze, upon completion of the signed acquisition of Orange Grove Media Group announced on June 15, 2015.
Mr Lichtenstein and his company have negotiated and agreed to the sale of his indirect interest in Payday Productions LLC on the corresponding terms as the other two producers. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Lichtenstein’s sale of his shares in Payday Productions LLC to Starbreeze is not part of Starbreeze acquisition of Orange Grove Media Group since that is a separate acquisition, see release as of June 15, 2015.
First launched in 2011, PAYDAY is a cooperative first-person shooter computer and video game franchise with more than 9 million players on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
For more information please contact:
Starbreeze Investor Relations Contact: Maeva Sponbergs, Investor Relations, Starbreeze AB. Tel: +46(0)8-209 208, email: [email protected]
Brief information about Starbreeze:
Starbreeze is an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. At Starbreeze we create games by our own design and through licensed content, establishing franchises that can live and prosper outside the game itself. We live and die by gameplay.
Starbreeze is pioneering digital self-publishing, currently hosting one of the largest community groups on the digital distribution platform Steam. Starbreeze’s most recent products include PAYDAY 2, our adrenaline fuelled bank robbing co-op game and the critically acclaimed Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons.
Starbreeze AB is publicly traded on Nasdaq Stockholm First North Premier under the ticker STAR and the ISIN code: SE0005992831. Remium Nordic is the company Certified Adviser. Starbreeze brands include OVERKILL Software and the PAYDAY series.
For more information, please visit http://www.test.starbreeze.com.