Keywords Studios Goes Shopping in France

Fresh from reporting a strong financial performance in the first half of 2017, game localizer Keywords Studios announced on August 4, 2017 the acquisition of four Paris-based firms providing audio recording and localization services.

In a regulatory filing, the Dublin-headquartered firm disclosed that it will be paying a total of EUR 7.6m to acquire French audio recording for games specialists La Marque Rose and Asrec Sec, and the two subsidiaries of the holding company Dune Media SAS — Dune Sound and Around the World.

The total value of the deal is EUR 6.7m in cash (EUR 6.6m to be paid upfront and EUR 1.0m over two years) and in Keywords shares.

“The consolidation of these businesses gives us the combined scale to support investment in new, state of the art recording facilities which will ensure that we can service the growing demand for French audio and localization services,” said Fulvio Sioli, European Managing Director of Keywords Studios.

The newly acquired companies have combined annual revenues of EUR 9m and pre-tax profit of EUR 0.9m.

To integrate the four companies into Keywords’ existing studio in Paris, the company said it will spend a further EUR 1m to upgrade its facilities and accommodate a total of 50 employees. Dune Founder Michel Golgevit was appointed CEO of the combined companies.

Keywords has been beefing up its audio and voice-over recording capabilities since 2016, starting off with the acquisition of Italian video game localizer Synthesis International for USD 1.8m in April 2016.

The deal brought to Keywords some of the biggest gaming titles, including Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim, and World of Warcraft. Part of the acquisition was Keywords’ studio in Paris.

In December 2016, Keywords also acquired Madrid-based localization studio Sonox. The deal has given Keywords access to the firm’s network of translators, voice actors, audio engineers and voice directors in Spain.