The CEO of Embracer Justifies the Acceptance of a Saudi Investment of 1 Billion Dollars

Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors has issued a statement defending the recent investment in his company by Savvy Gaming Group, a gaming investment company wholly owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Embracer Group is a big video game holding company based in Sweden, which owns more than 120 studios, including Gearbox Software, Deep Silver, and Flying Wild Hog and the Hungarian DIGIC Pictures.

Last week it was announced that the Savvy Gaming Group would make an £828 million ($1 billion) investment in Embracer Group, giving the Saudi company an 8.1% stake in Embracer. Like all investments coming from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, this move is controversial, to say the least. However, it is not the first such investment, as Saudi Arabia has previously invested in Nintendo and other high-end players in the gaming industry.

In a statement made by Wingefors, he tried to justify the acceptance of this investment, among other things: “I have been asked in recent days why we accept an investment from an entity from a non-democratic country. To begin with, we have to look in the mirror. We are a public company and already have hundreds of institutions from all over the world as shareholders, including investors from the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region and Asia […]

“We genuinely believe that SGG, a wholly commercial entity, has genuine in-game ambitions to support the global ecosystem for our industry that are consistent with and important to the values ​​and culture of our industry. SGG is providing considerable capital investment and truly long-term to support our strategy and management so that we can continue growing our commercial businesses successfully.”

Wingefors also highlighted the importance of “freedom, inclusion, humanity and openness” to the Embracer Group. The human rights abuses perpetrated by the Saudi state are well documented, including the recent high-profile assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered. Salman is the chairman of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which owns the Savvy Gaming Group.

In defence of the move, Wingefors asserts that “there are only a handful of players in the world that provide this kind of considerable long-term equity.” He says that without this investment, the Embracer Group would have to slow down its activities, which may have negative implications for several businesses. Basically, Embracer accepts the investment because it wants the money.

In an attempt to reassure people, Wingefors clarified that the Savvy Gaming Group only has 5% of the voting power and 8% of the company’s capital and that he and the current management continue to control the company.

Source: PC Gamer

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