Technology

Jabra House owners Attempt for Gaming with the acquisition of SteelSeries

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Enlarge / SteelSeries Arctis headsets are well known among gamers.

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

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

Founded in 2001 in Denmark, SteelSeries has made a name for itself with a wide range of advanced peripherals for console and PC gamers. As an audio company, GN is undoubtedly interested in SteelSeries’ Arctis headset product line, which spans a wide range of prices and form factors and has become a popular brand among gamers. SteelSeries has made a name for itself with other types of peripherals as well, including its Apex Pro mechanical keyboard (you’ll regularly see gamers share keyboard social media posts as they peel the sticker off their unique OLED screen).

SteelSeries' OLED-coated Apex Pro gaming keyboard.Enlarge / SteelSeries’ OLED-coated Apex Pro gaming keyboard. Called SteelSeries the “new growth engine”, GN was courted according to SteelSeries’ announcement “Growth Profile and Margin Structure”. GN aims to earn on demand for gaming hardware that you can control with software, and expects the gaming equipment market to “continue to grow about 7 to 8 percent annually over the medium term”. In addition, GN expects SteelSeries to have “strong growth in sales and EBITA” this year.

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Both companies promised that SteelSeries will continue to have their 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 CEO also said the brand is “run by the same leadership team and organization that are now driving it.” The acquisition affects 350 SteelSeries employees, including 80 software engineers, as GN emphasized in its announcement.

GN’s current list includes Jabra, known for high-end headsets and earbuds; ReSound, a hearing aid brand; and the wireless headset maker BlueParrot. The company has 6,500 employees.

“We have been looking for the right way for GN to enter the very interesting gaming market for some time, as we are very interested in the ‘high-end’ segment,” said René Svendsen-Tune, CEO of GN Audio. in a statement.

With GN’s audio roots, it’s unclear whether SteelSeries will have increased focus on headsets after the acquisition, but it’s hard to imagine the brand’s investments in areas like mice, keyboards, and controllers suddenly dropping. The purchase will also bring in GN Nahimic, a company specializing in audio software for PC games, and KontrolFreek, which sells console controller accessories.

The SteelSeries acquisition is expected to be completed “by early 2022” but is subject to regulatory approvals.

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