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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."

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is backfilling lost corporate and personal donations with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate the Missouri lawmaker as he weighs re-election or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

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