Starbreeze AB has today announced its acquisition of the Belgian Visual Effects (VFX) studio and PresenZ creator, Nozon. The studio and its technology has been sold for a total consideration of 7.1 MEUR, whereof 4.6 MEUR (approximately 44.6 MSEK) in cash and 2.5 MEUR in newly issued Starbreeze B-shares.
In 2015 Nozon introduced PresenZ, a technology for virtual reality (VR) movies that allows for interactive parallax in VR; a technique to enhance viewers’ perception of perspective and view depth, adding to the immersive feeling. By joining the Starbreeze family, Nozon will instantly be part of Starbreeze technology offering and a solid part of the VR ecosystem.
“PresenZ technology for multiple virtual reality applications will allow for room scale scanning and virtualization, and high quality computer graphics rendering at almost movie level polygon counts. The technology’s parallax capabilities will greatly complement the high fidelity of the StarVR HMD with its 210-degree field of view,” said Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint. “The future of VR is undefined but it is easy to imagine with this technology, where a space can be scanned and rendered in high quality CGI, the applications where you could render a space like the Louvre in Paris or Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and provide interactive guided tours. Additionally, one could potentially use computer graphic assets from a blockbuster Hollywood movie to create a cinematic VR experience.”
To complete the deal, the Board resolved to issue 1,048,842 B-shares under its mandate from the AGM, based on a market share price determined at SEK 23.1 and an exchange rate of 9.6913. The issue represents 0.3% of the capital and 0.1% of the votes on a fully diluted basis. After the transaction, the total number of B-shares in Starbreeze is 218,382,124.
In addition to the sale price, Nozon and Starbreeze have agreed on a capped ten-year earn-out for Nozon founders based on PresenZ future financial performance, taking effect after Starbreeze has recouped 2 MEUR of its investment. During the earn-out period, Starbreeze will pay a percentage on certain of its revenues benefiting from the PresenZ technology.
The founders of Nozon will have industry standard lock-in agreement attached to the shares, equally distributed over three years. The ongoing VFX business of Nozon will have a limited but positive impact on Starbreeze revenue and profit from day one. In 2015, Nozon had revenues of 2.3 MEUR.
The acquisition of Nozon is the latest in a long line of business deals secured by Starbreeze, including partnerships with the likes of Lionsgate, IMAX and Google.