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MTG launches US$30m gaming investment fund

Modern Times Group (MTG) has launched a US$30 million investment fund, targeting minority investments in “high-potential” US and European online gaming businesses.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.

The European broadcaster and digital company said that it will invest in five to 10 companies annually over the next three years, and that the fund will complement its larger scale acquisitions.

“Investments will be made in an early stage in companies that bring strategic value to MTG in the areas of online gaming, esports and gaming-focused virtual and augmented reality,” said MTG in a statement.

The news comes on the same day as MTG’s Capital Markets Seminar, with the company also announcing that it will now disclose sales for each of the verticals within its MTGx digital arm – namely eSports, online gaming, and digital video networks.

MTG said that group digital sales grew by 70% year-on-year to account for 34% of MTG’s total sales in Q3 2017, up from 21% in Q3 2016.

This reflects a strategic focus on digital. In July MTG closed its US$55 million acquisition of US games publisher and developer Kongregate, while in May it invested €82.6 million to up its holding in mobile and browser-based games company, InnoGames from 21% to 51%.

The company has funded this by selling its 50% shareholding in Czech free-to-air broadcaster Prima, and its Baltic broadcasting business – which included the region’s third-largest pay TV provider, subscription and ad funded streaming services and national commercial radio stations.

“We are stronger than ever in our traditional markets, with exciting content that engages diverse audiences across multiple platforms and on every screen,” said MTG President and CEO, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann. “At the same time, we are leading esports into the global mainstream, captivating hundreds of millions of online gamers, and creating video content that generates billions of views across the world.”

“MTG’s expertise is in storytelling and we want our stories to be available everywhere. Our partnerships with content creators and distributors around the world, and the rapid growth of our digital products, clearly demonstrate the relevance of our stories and provide the basis for our long term profitable growth. This is why we are also launching a gaming fund to help nurture the next generation of digital entertainment experiences.”