PAI Partners said it has entered exclusive talks to buy Asmodee, the French game-maker responsible for Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, from fellow private equity firm Eurazeo.
Why it's a big deal: Because while Catan felt like it reached peak popularity earlier this decade, Asmodee revenue continues to be a rocket-ride, up 17% to €442 million last year. Moreover, it was worth just around €140 when acquired by Eurazeo in 2013, but the Financial Times reports the new sale price could be around €1.2 billion (including debt).
Bonus: In addition to the Catan franchise, Asmodee makes a game called Takenoko, which involves resolving a diplomatic dispute between China and Japan by growing and feeding bamboo to pandas. And it's very popular, proving again that there really are no bad ideas.
Bottom line from FT's Javier Espinoza: "Asmodee’s new owners are expected to grow its digital offering on platforms such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play and to build the business through acquisitions... [and] pursue a strategy similar to that of Lego in developing movie or comic franchises based on Asmodee’s games."