NorthEdge backs MBO at Sumo
A video game development studio based in Sheffield has become the sixth recipient of investment from NorthEdge Capital this year after the private equity firm backed a management buyout (MBO) at the company.
Founded in 2003, Sumo Digital also has an office in Pune, India, and employs more than 240 staff. It partners with top tier publishers and has developed a number of high-profile titles including Forza Horizon 2 for Microsoft's Xbox360, Sonic and Sega All Star Racing, and Xbox Fitness.
Most recently, Sumo has partnered with Sony to develop Little Big Planet 3, which is due for imminent release.
NorthEdge has backed the existing management team, comprising Carl Cavers (chief executive), Paul Porter (chief operating officer), Chris Stockwell (chief financial officer) and Darren Mills (executive art director) to complete an MBO from Foundation 9 Entertainment, a US entertainment media company which acquired Sumo in 2007.
Director James Hall and investment manager Phil Frame led the deal for NorthEdge. Hall and Frame will join the board as non-executive directors.
Hall said: "Sumo Digital is a fantastic business, with an incredible reputation and a track record of delivering top titles.
"The business is working on a number of exciting projects and we look forward to partnering with Carl and the team as they further grow the business, capitalising on opportunities within the marketplace.
"Sumo has an exciting time ahead and we're extremely pleased to be on board."
The deal is the sixth this year for NorthEdge, representing nearly £80m of investment into northern businesses.
A team from Deloitte provided advice to NorthEdge, including lead advisory (Dan Renton, Paul Trickett, Will Johnson, Maninder Minhas), financial and tax due diligence (Stuart Cottee, Matt Henderson, Jon Steed, David Aindow, Julie Campbell), and commercial due diligence. Addleshaw Goddard (Yunus Seedat and Susie Siddall) provided legal advice.
Dan Renton, director at Deloitte in Leeds, said: "I am confident the partnership with NorthEdge will help Sumo Digital realise its exciting growth ambitions in what is an emerging and increasingly important sector for Yorkshire."
The Quinn Partnership provided management due diligence. Intuitus provided technical due diligence and Hendersons provided insurance due diligence. Banking facilities were provided by Barclays (Richard Faulkner).
Mike Lang, president of Lang Media Group and board member for Foundation 9 helped facilitate the deal for the seller.