Midasplayer touches Apex for £23m

Online games outfit Midasplayer.com has turned some of its equity to gold, after leading private equity investment group Apax Partners came in for a €34 million minority stake (around £23 million).

Midasplayer.com, named after the legendary rose-gardener King Midas, who was given the gift of turning whatever he touched into gold and was later bestowed with donkey ears by Apollo, is an online games site where players win cash prizes by participating in casual game tournaments. Serial entrepreneurs Ricardo Zacconi and Toby Rowland founded the company in 2003 and it has now become a sector leader across Europe and the US.

Rowland says that the last two years has seen the site build up a customer base of hundreds of thousands of European users, playing games such as solitaire, 8-ball pool, Bomp Bomp, and Klicker Klacker 2. He believes that the investment marks ‘an important new phase in the development of the company’ and will help Midas to ‘pursue global expansion to capitalise on our strong momentum’.

Apax’s Michael Chalfen believes in the quality of the management and expects similar aureate qualities to those of Midas: ‘The business is very well run, is already profitable and is highly scalable. We intend to help the company to expand its international platform very rapidly.

‘Midasplayer.com has made rapid progress in the skill-gaming category and is emerging as the sector leader across Europe and the US. Its proven economic advantage for European partners creates the opportunity for the company to win distribution in the US and Asia and it already has a significant distribution pipeline outside Europe.’

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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