French publisher Nacon has acquired Australian developer Big Ant Studios for €35 million ($42.5 million). Based in Melbourne, Big Ant is best known for working on sports titles including AO Tennis, Ashes Cricket, and Cricket 19.
The deal will see Nacon, formerly known as Bigben Interactive, hand over an initial €15 million ($18.2 million) in cash. An additional €20 million ($24.3 million) earn-out payable in cash and newly-issued Nacon shares will also be paid out if certain performance targets are met before March 31, 2024.
The transaction is expected to be completed in February 2021, and according to Nacon will "significantly strengthen" its position in the sports game and double-A market.
"Through this strategic acquisition, Nacon intends to become the world's leading player for rugby, tennis and cricket video games," reads a press release. "Cricket for instance is considered the second most popular sport in the world with 120 million players and 1.5 billion fans in total. Big Ant is the world reference for video games in this discipline."
Following the deal, Big Ant founder and CEO Ross Symons will continue to lead the studio with "a high degree of autonomy," but will be supported by Nacon's sales, editorial, and marketing teams.