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Sumo Digital completes MBO after NorthEdge backing


Sheffield-based game development studio Sumo Digital has completed a management buyout after backing from private equity firm NorthEdge Capital.

The existing management team of CEO Carl Cavers, COO Paul Porter, CFO Chris Stockwell and art director Darren Mills have bought the company from US company Foundation 9 Entertainment, which acquired Sumo in 2007.

It’s the sixth deal this year for NorthEdge, which operates from offices in Leeds and Manchester, totalling investment of around £80m.

Founded in 2003, Sumo employs over 240 people and reported turnover of £13.2m and profit before tax of £869,000 for the year to the end of December 2013.

CEO Carl Cavers Sumo CEO Carl Cavers

It has developed a number of high profile titles including Forza Horizon 2 for Microsoft’s Xbox360, Sonic and Sega All Star Racing, and Xbox Fitness. It’s also partnered with Sony recently to develop Little Big Planet 3, due for release soon.

CEO Carl Cavers said: “With the imminent release of Little Big Planet 3 and a number of exciting projects under development, the business is in an extremely strong position. We are delighted to have completed the MBO and to be partnering with NorthEdge as we accelerate our growth strategy and cement our position as one of Europe’s leading game developers.”

A NorthEdge spokesman added: “The Yorkshire gaming industry is worth tens of millions of pounds to the regional economy, and continues to go from strength to strength.

“The sector is supported by several universities in the region, which are proactive in providing courses and appropriate guidance to students looking to pursue a career in the industry.”

Northedge director James Hall and investment manager Phil Frame will join Sumo’s board as non-executive directors. Deloitte and Addleshaw Goddard advised on the deal.

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