MTG acquires majority stake in e-sports company

Modern Times Group (MTG) has struck a deal to acquire a 74% majority stake of Turtle Entertainment, the world’s largest e-sports company that operates under the ESL brand.

Under the agreement, MTG will acquire the stake from financial investors and the company’s founders for €78 million ($86.5 million) in cash.

As part of the deal, which remains subject to various regulatory approvals, Turtle Entertainment founders and management will retain the remaining 26% stake in the company and continue in their current roles.

In a statement, MTG said the acquisition is in line with a strategy to “complement its linear and on-demand video entertainment services by investing in fast growing digital companies with relevant and scalable communities and content”.

ESL’s online leagues and tournaments, such as ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters, have attracted more than 70 million unique online viewers during the past 12 months.

Turtle generates the majority of its revenue from advertising and sponsorship for its events, online league operations and broadcast media rights.

MTG has already established a presence in the e-sports market through its own platform, as well as the broadcasting of e-sports events across its various television channels.

“E-sports is fast becoming one of the most watched and passionately followed global sports categories amongst younger audiences,” MTG president and chief executive officer, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, said.

“This investment is a key milestone in our digital development.

“We look forward to working with the talented Turtle team to grow the global e-sports community, and to make this exciting content even more broadly available online and on TV.”

Ralf Reichert, managing director of Turtle Entertainment, added: “When we founded ESL 15 years ago, our goal was to bring e-sports to fans all around the world and establish it as a global sport.

“Today, e-sports enjoys worldwide recognition and now, together with MTG, it is time to take e-sports to the next level.

“MTG’s extensive operational network in over 100 countries and broadcast sports experience will help us bring ESL and e-sports to many more places around the world, while allowing us to continue expanding on strong, strategic local partnerships.”

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