Stockholm-listed Better Collective A/S has moved to further diversify its publishing network by confirming the outright acquisition of esports player community HLTV.org for €35 million.
Updating investors, Better Collective governance stated that the acquisition will establish the company as a leading digital publisher within the burgeoning global esports scene.
Operating since 2002, Denmark based HLTV.org is recognised as the leading online authority for Counter-Strike (CS:GO) providing its fans and athletes daily news, tournament information, match analysis, fan forums and further detailed information.
A breakdown of deal terms sees Better Collective commit to a €27 million ‘cash and shares combination’ as an upfront payment securing the purchase of HLTV.org and its related assets.
Further deal terms see Better Collective commit to a further ‘€8 million earn-out clause’ related to the asset’s performance over a period of three years.
Confirming the acquisition Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective, said: “We have carefully analysed and monitored esport for a long time. It is a rapidly growing industry and we consider esports an ideal extension to our sports-focused business. The nature of esports betting differs significantly from traditional sports betting and, therefore, it was essential to find the right partner, adding deep know-how and industry knowledge to Better Collective.
“I am confident that, through this acquisition, we have found the right people who operate some of the best-positioned esport brands in the world. We expect strong synergistic effects as many of the betting operators we collaborate with today also offer bets on esports, so I look forward to a prosperous esports future for Better Collective together with our new colleagues.”
In its acquisition statement, Better Collective reveals that it has acquired a digital asset which generates more than 27million unique organic visits per month.
Securing the foundation for its new esports unit, Better Collective further acquires leading Danish CS:GO community Dust2.dk as part of the transaction. Dust2.dk provides news and interviews from the esports industry, live scores on CS:GO matches and also hosts Denmark’s official Top 10 CS:GO team list. On average, the website has more than 250,000 visits per month.
Completing the acquisition, Better Collective confirms that it will retain HLTV.org founders and management ensuring the development of its new esports platforms, network and communities.
Martin Rosenbæk, CEO of HLTV.org, commented on the transaction: “Joining the Better Collective group will support our ambition to remain the preferred CS:GO brand for esports enthusiasts across the world. Esports is an industry that is rapidly growing and evolving and, through constructive discussions with the Better Collective management, it became clear that they are the optimal partner for us to realize the full potential of our platforms.
“With more than 15 years of experience within sports betting, the Better Collective group has a deep understanding of sports communities and how to utilize technology to enhance the player experience. Combining this with the experience we have gathered from developing within the CS:GO community, we are strongly positioned to grow and build even stronger brands and experiences that will benefit the global network of CS:GO fans and our business.”