Jabra owner goes after gaming with SteelSeries acquisition

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Gaming equipment maker SteelSeries is being bought by GN, owner of audio equipment company Jabra. The deal announced Wednesday gives GN access to SteelSeries’ headsets, keyboards, mice and other peripherals for PC and console gaming, as well as its sub-brands like Nahimic.

Denmark-based GN is buying SteelSeries from Accel, a Nordic private equity firm, in a deal that is reportedly worth 8 billion DKK (about $1.2 billion).

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Founded in Denmark in 2001, SteelSeries has made a name for itself with a large selection of advanced peripherals targeting console and PC gamers. As an audio company, GN is undoubtedly interested in SteelSeries’ Arctis headset lineup, which covers a wide range of prices and form factors and has become a favorite brand among gamers. SteelSeries also has a reputation with other types of peripherals, including the Apex Pro mechanical keyboard (you’ll regularly see gamers sharing social media post They peel off stickers from their unique OLED screen, as does the keyboard).

SteelSeries' OLED-clad Apex Pro gaming keyboard.
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GN was wooed by SteelSeries’ “growth profile and margin structure”, calling SteelSeries a “new growth engine”, according to the announcement. GN is trying to capitalize on demand for gaming hardware that you can control with software and expects the gaming gear market to “continue to grow at about 7-8 percent per year over the medium-term.” Furthermore, GN believes that SteelSeries will show “strong growth in revenue and EBITDA” this year.

Both companies promised that SteelSeries would continue to have its own brand and identity. SteelSeries CEO Ehtisham Rabbani said in a statement that the brand will continue to focus on eSports and gaming with new hardware and software. The executive also said that the brand will be “run by the same leadership team and organization that is running it now.” GN said in its announcement that the acquisition affected 350 Steel Series employees, including 80 software engineers.

GN’s current roster includes Jabra, which is known for high-end headsets and earbuds; Resound, a hearing aid brand; and wireless headset manufacturer BlueParrot. The company has 6,500 employees.

GN Audio CEO René Svendsson-Tune said in a statement, “We have been searching for the right way for GN to enter the very interesting gaming market for some time now, fueled by a keen interest in the ‘high-end’ segment. keep.”

As with GN’s audio roots, it’s unclear whether the SteelSeries will focus more on headsets after the acquisition, but it’s hard to imagine the brand’s investments in areas like mice, keyboards and controllers suddenly going away. The purchase will also net GN Nahimic, a company that focuses on PC gaming audio software, and KontrolFreek, which sells console controller accessories.

The acquisition of SteelSeries is expected to close “by early 2022,” but is subject to regulatory approval.



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