mailRU Modern Pick

Credit: Modern Pick Entertainment

Mentioned in this article

  • Virtus.pro and Epicenter owner ESforce will be merged with game publisher Modern Pick Entertainment.
  • Internet services company Mail.ru Group Limited has a 3% share in Modern Pick, and will transfer 51% of ESforce assets to the company at a total implied valuation of $110M USD.
  • The merged company is estimated to have a total value of $350M. The deal has a third-year failsafe to return all ESforce assets to Mail.ru if financial performance targets are not reached.

Russian internet services company Mail.ru Group Limited Database-Link-e1521645463907 has announced plans to merge its ESforce Database-Link-e1521645463907 esports company with Singaporean game publisher Modern Pick Entertainment.

Mail.ru Group Limited already holds 3% of shares in Modern Pick, and will transfer 51% of its ESforce assets to Modern Pick at an implied total valuation of $110M USD ($56M for the 51% stake). Combined, the merged company of ESforce and Modern Pick is valued at $350M according to Mail.ru Group.

ESforce is the parent company of team Virtus.pro Database-Link-e1521645463907, tournament brand Epicenter Database-Link-e1521645463907, production studio RuHub Database-Link-e1521645463907, editorial website Cybersport.ru, and Moscow venue Yota Arena. The company also previously owned team SK Gaming Database-Link-e1521645463907, which was sold to Mercedes-Benz and 1. FC Köln in January. According to the release for the Modern Pick merger, ESforce sold SK Gaming along with its catering and merchandise businesses for a total of more than $10M.

Mail.ru Group Limited will retain a 49% share of ESforce following the transaction, although the size of the stake could increase or decrease depending on key performance indicators (KPIs) set for the year 2022. Additionally, the transaction has a third-year failsafe that allows Mail.ru to exit the merger and recover its 51% ESforce stake depending on financial performance.

“We are very pleased to be entering into this new business together with Modern Pick, the strong partner who works in close cooperation with such brands as ZDF, Red Bull Database-Link-e1521645463907, etc,” said Mail.ru Group COO Vladimir Nikolsky, in a release. “We are pleased with the progress that ESF has made since our acquisition, but we see larger opportunities for the business being part of a wider ecosystem. This is entirely constant with our strategy of leveraging our dominant position in our home market while also working with partners in some areas. We look forward to working with our talented and energetic partners to further expand ESF’s reach and user offering.”

Related Article: Deep Dive Into Mail.ru’s Acquisition of ESforce, Usmanov Remains in Control

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Mail.ru acquired ESforce in January 2018 in a $100M deal between companies controlled by Russian business magnate Alisher Usmanov. His USM Holdings previously agreed to invest up to $100M in the Virtus.pro Group, becoming the main shareholder before its rebranding to ESforce. Mail.ru was also under USM Holdings’ control at the time, although Usmanov gave up control of the company in October 2018. USM Holdings is now an indirect shareholder in the Mail.ru Group.

Modern Pick, founded in 2017, is a publisher of “nonviolent” games with a focus on racing games. Modern Pick, a Singaporean company, also has offices in Barcelona and London. According to a release, Mail.ru Group sees wider opportunities with European sponsors via the merger, and a chance to expose its MY.GAMES publishing business to global advertisers.







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