Nodwin Gaming, the esports company, and an independent subsidiary of Nazara Technologies, has acquired the Gaming and adjacent IP business of OML Entertainment.
Nodwin Gaming has agreed to a consideration of Rs 73 crores as part of an agreement concluded between Nodwin Gaming and OML Entertainment. The transaction will provide partial liquidity to OML Entertainment shareholders, including CA Media. Ajay Nair, MD of OML Entertainment, will join the Nodwin Gaming board as part of this transaction and will work with Akshat Rathee, MD of Nodwin Gaming and the Nodwin Gaming management team to ensure smooth integration of the OML IPs with Nodwin Gaming and help with growing Nodwin Gaming’s business.
This acquisition taps into a growing synergy between the two companies. While NODWIN Gaming is known for its esports and gaming expertise. OML Entertainment is known for managing some of India’s biggest gaming and entertainment creators such as Tanmay Bhat, Samay Raina, Suhani Shah, etc. and for owning and executing storied IPs such as the BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender, well-attended comedy touring properties such as LOLstars and Headliners and Breezer Vivid Shuffle. OML Entertainment also works with some of the biggest brands in India to produce well known properties such as Levi's Music Week and the hugely successful YouTube FanFest.
Today’s youth demand an increasingly diverse and engaging experience as the lines between gaming, esports, comedy and music become blurred, and gaming becomes more mainstream. This transaction allows Nodwin Gaming to massify gaming and esports by tapping into emerging synergies in gaming entertainment that a 14–30-year-old is looking for. It enables the firm to build IPs that are relevant to fans and are more brand centric.
Akshat Rathee, Managing Director, Nodwin Gaming, said, “Nodwin Gaming strongly believes that continuous growth in the IP portfolio is central to building a vibrant ecosystem of fans, talent, broadcasters and brands. This has been the essence of NODWIN Gaming since the early days of creating The India Premiership or Dew Arena. The addition of some of the largest IPs in India like NH7 weekender is going to accelerate the massification of esports and gaming entertainment across the spectrum of fans and brands. The multi-faceted talent that joins us cuts across gaming and pop culture and lays the perfect foundation for NODWIN Gaming to create more IPs. The proven capability of the brilliant team that joins us from OML Entertainment will further ensure that we can execute and monetise our IPs.”
Ajay Nair, Managing Director, OML Entertainment, added, “We believe in the convergence of different pop culture genres and have seen that this has already happened across several platforms and IPs. It makes a lot of sense to consolidate the strengths that OML Entertainment and Nodwin Gaming have in the live IPs and gaming spaces. Over the past years, our experience working with Nodwin Gaming has been very fruitful and we are confident that our live IPs and the teams that execute them have found a good home at Nodwin Gaming. OML Entertainment will continue to focus on building its OTT content production, talent management and branded content businesses. I look forward to working with Akshat and the Nodwin Gaming team to deliver on the true potential of this partnership.”
The total revenue of the acquired business of OML Entertainment during FY20 (pre-COVID) was Rs 91 crore with EBITDA of ~10%. OML Entertainment will continue to consolidate its non-gaming creator-driven content and talent management businesses as it scales its OTT offerings and branded content marketing suite of services that currently works with over 700 creators across the world. This business had clocked revenues of Rs 170 crore in FY 2020 and has grown ever since.