Sumo-Tencent £919m deal cleared by US security probe

A US national security panel investigation into the £919 million takeover of Sheffield-based video gaming firm Sumo Group plc by a subsidiary of China’s Tencent has “concluded all action” and both companies are now “taking steps to move towards completing the acquisition.”

It was announced in late October that a US national security panel — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) — was investigating the deal.

Sumo has studios in the United States and its clients and partners include Microsoft’s XBOX game studios, Apple and Google.

On Tuesday, Sumo said in a stock exchange statement: “Sumo and Tencent Bidco are pleased to announce that, on 13 December 2021 … CFIUS confirmed that it has concluded all action with respect to the acquisition subject to the implementation of certain arrangements designed to mitigate the risks to the national security of the United States that CFIUS has determined arise as a result of the acquisition.

“Therefore, the condition to which the acquisition is subject under paragraph 3 (d) of Part 1 of Part Three of the Scheme Document has been satisfied.

As at the date of this announcement, no mandatory notification requirement has arisen under the UK National Security and Investment Act 2021.

“If this is still the case immediately prior to the Scheme Sanction Hearing, the condition at paragraph 3(c) of Part 1 of Part Three of the Scheme Document to which the acquisition is subject will be waived by Tencent Bidco. 

The parties are therefore pleased to now be taking steps to move towards completing the acquisition …

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction or (where applicable) waiver of the other conditions set out in Part Three of the Scheme Document, including the Court’s sanction of the Scheme at the Scheme Sanction Hearing and the delivery of a copy of the Scheme Court Order to the Registrar of Companies thereafter …”