A Dublin games-industry outfit has splashed out $66m on its biggest takeover yet

Keywords Studios has acquired seven companies this year.

By Killian Woods Reporter, Fora

IRISH VIDEO-GAME LOCALISATION firm Keywords Studios has confirmed plans for its biggest acquisition to date, bolstering its operations with a $66 million takeover.

The Dublin-based company translates language and cultural references that feature in video games for foreign markets. It counts many of the industry’s major players, such as EA Sports, Konami and Ubisoft, as clients.

So far this year the firm has acquired seven companies. The latest acquisition of North American outfit VMC, which provides video game testing and user support, represents Keywords Studios’ largest deal ever.

In a statement, Keywords Studios chief executive Andrew Day said this deal is an “important milestone” in the firm’s plans to become an all-in-one video games testing provider.

In recent days, the company has also announced that it raised £75 million (€84 million) following a 10% share issuance.

In a briefing note this morning, Davy analyst Joseph Quinn highlighted that the latest acquisition makes the firm one of the biggest players in its field.

“This fast-tracks Keywords Studios to number one in functional testing from number five,” he said.

“Becoming number-one player in functional testing for the gaming industry, Keywords Studios will now be able to offer the level of scale needed for key customers in North America.”

He added that the deal more than doubles the company’s customer support services division, and the new services it has added to its arsenal will offer more opportunities to sell a package of service to clients.

3404262 Keywords Studios CEO Andrew Day
Source: Keywords Studios

Acquisition trail

Keywords Studios, which was founded in 1998, has several international offices and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

So far this year, Keywords Studios has finalised a number of smaller acquisition deals ranging from €1 million to €5 million.

Last year, it was also hot on the acquisition trail and purchased a total of eight firms during the calendar year.

Based out of headquarters in Leopardstown, Keywords Studios employs 120 permanent staff, with that number rising to 1,000 at peak times, according to the firm’s website.

It has offices in Barcelona and Rome, as well as several locations in Asia and an outpost in Rio de Janeiro, and is advertising for a string of roles in Dublin, mainly foreign-language game testers.

The firm recorded revenue of £79 million last year – nearly double the 2015 tally – and a net profit of more than £5 million. It floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2013, raising €32.5 million in the process.

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