Swedish entertainment firm Embracer Group is making yet more big-ticket acquisitions.
The company has announced that it has spent SEK 6 billion ($576 million) on six acquisitions, five of which it has announced, with another unannounced purchase. The biggest name on the list is Middle-earth Enterprises, an arm of The Saul Zaentz Company which has owned the rights to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit since 1976. Embracer has said that it might want to explore movies based on some of the popular characters within the Middle-earth universe.
“I am truly excited to have The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, one of the world’s most epic fantasy franchises join the Embracer family, opening up more transmedia opportunities including synergies across our global group," Embracer CEO and founder Lars Wingefors (pictured) said.
"I am thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee as a start within the group. Going forward, we also look forward to collaborating with both existing and new external licensees of our increasingly stronger IP portfolio."
Marty Glick, the COO of The Saul Zaentz Company, added: “We at the Zaentz Company have had the honor over the past half century of stewarding the Tolkien rights so that Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans worldwide could enjoy award winning epic films, challenging video games, first rate theatre and merchandise of every variety. We could not be more thrilled that it is Embracer now taking up the responsibility and we are confident their group will take it to new heights and dimensions while maintaining homage to the spirit of these great literary works."
Embracer has also acquired publisher Limited Run, Killing Floor and Maneater studio Tripwire Interactive and vocal processing effects firm Singtrix.
Word that the rights for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were up for auction broke earlier this year.