Sweden's MTG to buy New Zealand-based Ninja Kiwi for up to $186 mln

E-sports and gaming group MTG has agreed to buy mobile games developer Ninja Kiwi for around 1.6 billion crowns to broaden its gaming portfolio, it said on Wednesday.

Deal takes MTG into tower defence strategy games

MTG says to raise 1.1 bln SEK in directed share issue

Adds detail, company comment, background

STOCKHOLM, March 24 (Reuters) - E-sports and gaming group MTG MTGb.ST has agreed to buy mobile games developer Ninja Kiwi for around 1.6 billion crowns ($186 million) to broaden its gaming portfolio, it said on Wednesday.

MTG said the up-front payment would be around 1.2 billion crowns with earn-out payments of up to 406 million crowns, including cash and share components.

The Swedish firm said in a separate statement that it was raising 1.1 billion crowns from a share issue which will be directed at Swedish and international institutional investors to finance the deal while investment firm Atairos had agreed to cover around 50% to become a significant long term shareholder in the firm.

MTG, which has a $1.3 billion market cap, said buying Ninja Kiwi would take it into a new gaming genre, tower defence strategy games, with a total of approximately 140 million downloads to date and 6.2 million monthly active users.

"After completing the acquisition, MTG holds strong positions in the city building and strategy genres through InnoGames, mobile racing through Hutch, idle games through Kongregate and tower defence through Ninja Kiwi," the company said in a statement.

Privately-owned Ninja Kiwi is based in Auckland, New Zealand. Its games include the Bloons Tower Defense games.

MTG recently established a new holding company for its gaming business, MTG Gaming, to hold acquisitions - such as Hutch and Ninja Kiwi - and all its shares in gaming firms InnoGames and Kongregate.

MTG had said in January that it had entered a non-binding arrangement to buy an unidentified mobile games developer with an initial purchase price of around $130-$150 million.

(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Simon Johnson Editing by David Goodman and Elaine Hardcastle)

((helena.soderpalm@thomsonreuters.com; +46 8 700 10 15; Reuters Messaging: helena.soderpalm.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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