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Green Man Gaming sets sights on $128m IPO

Green Man Gaming sets sights on $128m IPO

London-based digital retailer Green Man Gaming is the latest British firm to announce its intention to go public.

The firm says it seeks to be listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), part of the London Stock Exchange.

The company boasts between 25 and 30 per cent since its launch in 2009. In 2014, the retailer was generating $20.8m; that's risen to $60.9m last year. But Green Man Gaming is not hugely profitable, with CEO Paul Sulyok telling GamesIndustry.biz that the firm has an EBITDA margin of just three per cent, for the time being.

"Green Man Gaming is a growth company," he said.

"You can go to market with a significant EBITDA, or as a growth company. We've clearly chosen the route of being a growth company. We have grown this company from a topline perspective from between 25 and 30 per cent year-on-year. That's who we are, that's what we do. We are not a big margin company, and the margin that we do make, we reinvest in the company. We also raised relatively little money for a company of our size [£6.7 million ($8.6m) the company states]. So what we've effectively done is that as we've grown our topline, we've reinvested in-order to fuel additional growth for our future, both from a technical perspective and from a market reach perspective."

Sulyok also intends to invest the gains yielded by its IPO in further international growth, acquisitions and performance and brand marketing.

"We aim to internationalise ourselves properly," he said.

"We aim to expand into markets where we don't currently have all the payment systems, or language or local operational and customer support. And then we will double down and market into those regions from some of the primary proceeds that we are raising.

"And then obviously, we firmly believe in this market and our strategy, and we will also be looking for other companies that will bring something to the Green Man Gaming ecosystem. That could be technology, it could be content, it could be market reach... and then we'll be looking to bring them into the fold from an M&A perspective."

Green Man Gaming is but the latest British firm to go public, following in the footsteps of Team17, Sumo Digital and Codemasters in 2018, as well as Frontier Developments and Keywords Studios before them.

"I stand on the shoulders of giants," Sulyok says.

"I've had tremendous support from other people in the industry who have gone through this journey already. I am not having to go through the education process that people like Andrew Day [Keywords] and Carl Cavers [Sumo] had to go through for their businesses when they went to market. And secondly, I am coming out on the back of great IPOs that Frank Sagnier did at Codemasters and Debbie [Bestwick] did at Team17. It has always been our plan to come to market, it is just that other people's plans came to fruition before we had the chance to come to market."

For a while it looked like the strategy for Green Man Gaming was to secure a buyer. The firm made a number of acquisitions - including Playfire which it used for community and data research - as well as investments in new verticals like publishing which would add value to the company. 

We caught up with Sulyok last year to discuss Green Man Gaming's growth and plans for international expansion and, fingers crossed, we'll hopefully be catching up with the man himself soon about this recent news. 

Speaking to PCGamesInsider.biz earlier in 2018, the managing partner of investment firm Liberum Neil Patel - who helped take Codemasters and Frontier public - said that investors are looking for strength in verticals and niches, something that Green Man Gaming certainly has in the PC digital retail space


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch PCGamesInsider.biz for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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