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Plutus Wealth Purchase Nazara Shares Worth INR 500 Cr From WestBridge The deal marks WestBridge's exit from the online gaming platform

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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India-based gaming, sports media and gamified early learning company Nazara Technologies Ltd on Tuesday announced that Plutus Wealth Management LLP and its associates have acquired shares worth over INR 500 crore in Nazara from WestBridge Ventures II Investment Holdings.

It is estimated that WestBridge Ventures invested a cumulative amount of INR 22.6 crore in the platform and obtained sales consideration of approximately INR 1,000 crore from its investment.

"We believe gaming will be a prominent form of entertainment and will do well in the next decade. We believe that Nazara is well-placed to leverage the vast available opportunity. We are excited to begin our long-term journey with their goal and vision," said Arpit Khandelwal, managing partner, Plutus Wealth.

The company has said to have achieved stakes in a variety of gaming sub-categories by building a network in the interactive gaming and sports space through its investments and acquisitions in various gaming categories including e-sports, edutainment, infotainment, fantasy sports, multiplayer games such as carrom and mobile cricket games, among others.

"WestBridge Capital-backed Nitish at a very early stage back in 2005. Since then the company has created great shareholder value and created a market leader. We wish Nitish, Manish, and the entire Nazara group all the very best in their future endeavors," stated Sandeep Singhal, co-founder, WestBridge Capital.

The platform has public market investors like IIFL Special Opportunities Fund and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as its shareholders who had invested INR 327 crore in November 2017 and INR 182 crore in December 2017, respectively and has been the investor in the Indian gaming ecosystem and has invested over INR 300 crore in the last five years.

"We are excited to onboard Plutus as a long-term investor in Nazara. Creating value for all our stakeholders including our investors has always been very important for us and I am glad that we have been able to deliver a great return to WestBridge who backed us early on in 2005," added Nitish Mittersain, founder and managing director, Nazara Technologies.

The e-sports content business for the company grew by 60 per cent in FY2020 from FY2019 and has grown by nine-fold in the last three financial years. In the e-sports segment, the company has successfully monetized competitive gaming in India through exclusive license partnerships with global brands and publishers, including with Electronics Sports League (ESL) and Esports World Convention, and management of IP based gaming events such as ESL India Premiership, KO Fight Nights, Electronics Sports World Cup India Qualifiers, Mountain Dew Arena and the CII India Gaming Show.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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