nDreams Acquired by Aonic in £90.3m Deal
nDreams, a UK-based virtual reality (VR) studio known for its VR games, has been purchased by Aonic AB in a deal worth £90.3m ($110m). This acquisition allows nDreams’ investor, Mercia Asset Management, to exit the company and achieve a total return of £30.2m. The transaction provides a 2.7x return on investment and an 18.4% internal rate of return.
Expanding Team and Successful Projects
Founded in 2006 by Patrick O’Luanaigh, nDreams has experienced significant growth. The company has doubled its team from around 100 employees to 250, including 195 developers across four studios. They have worked on successful projects such as “Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord” in collaboration with Sony Pictures Virtual Reality and Meta, as well as the chart-topping VR game “Powerwash Simulator VR.”
Aonic’s Diversified Video Gaming Group
Aonic is a diversified video gaming group with a strong presence in the VR and augmented reality (AR) industry. In March 2022, they made an initial $35m investment in nDreams, which supported the studio’s acquisition of VR and AR game development studio Near Light Limited in Brighton. This investment also aided nDreams’ organic game development and broader growth strategy.
Mercia’s Early Investment and Continued Support
Mercia Asset Management, an early investor in VR, initially invested £0.3m in nDreams in 2014. They recognized the potential of VR gaming before Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR. Julian Viggars, CIO of Mercia Asset Management and nDreams’ board member, expressed his confidence in the growth of VR gaming and the validation of their investment thesis. Mercia will continue to benefit from nDreams’ growth through partial reinvestment.
Positive Outcome for Mercia
Dr. Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia Asset Management PLC, hailed the trade sale as another profitable outcome, exceeding their current holding value. The sale adds to their strong cash position of approximately £60m. Mercia looks forward to announcing their interim results on November 28, 2023.
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