Digital Bros moves to take over Swedish games firm Starbreeze

Digital Bros moves to take over Swedish games firm Starbreeze

505 Games parent company Digital Bros has made an offer to buy out Korean games giant Smilegate's stake in Swedish studio Starbreeze, which could see it taking over the firm.

In a post on the Italian publisher's website, it said that the board had authorised chairman Abramo Galante to buy out Smilegate's holding in the firm in a deal valued at €21.8m ($24.1m).

Smilegate reportedly holds €36m ($39.7m) in Starbreeze, comprised of €20.4m ($22.5m) of convertible bonds, credit worth in the region of €13.8m ($15.2m) from the studio's reconstruction period in addition to shares and voting rights worth €1.8m ($2m).

Should this deal go through, Digital Bros would own 30.18 per cent of Starbreeze's share capital and 40.83 per cent of the studio's voting rights. That's a considerable increase on the seven per cent of stock and 28.6 per cent of voting rights that the Italian firm currently holds.

Under Swedish law, a company has to make an offer to buy a firm in which it controls more than 30 per cent of voting rights. If this deal does go through, then it looks like Digital Bros is obligated to put in an offer to buy Starbreeze.

This follows Starbreeze's 12 month long reconstruction period after the company went into administration in December 2018. The studio was saved in December 2019 following three extensions to the initial three-month reconstruction period the company was afforded.

Starbreeze has sold off many of its assets and publishing rights in order to pay its debts and is currently focusing all of its efforts on Payday 3. The firm is looking for a publisher for the release - which could likely be 505 Games if Digital Bros ends up buying the company - and has valued the Payday IP at $162.3m.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

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 joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.