Kixeye shareholders sue Stillfront for $30M over earnout dispute

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Kixeye shareholders have filed a lawsuit in opposition to Stillfront Group over $30 million in a disputed earnout cost associated to its acquisition.

Fortis Advisors, a vendor consultant performing on behalf of Kixeye’s shareholders, filed the lawsuit at present in Delaware’s Chancery Court docket. In it, Kixeye alleges that Stillfront intentionally breached a merger settlement over a $30 million “earnout,” or a bonus to be paid if Kixeye hit sure milestones. The lawsuit offers a window into usually non-public negotiations between corporations.

We’ve requested Stockholm, Sweden-based Stillfront for a remark. In June 2019, Stillfront purchased Kixeye for $90 million in an settlement that had an earnout of $30 million based mostly on Kixeye’s anticipated monetary efficiency for 2019.

Kixeye made in style real-time technique video games for cellular gadgets and PCs. The titles included video games equivalent to Struggle Commander: Rogue Assault, Battle Pirates, Struggle Commander, and Vega Battle.

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Fortis accused Stillfront of performing some inventive accounting that made Kixeye’s outcomes look worse than they really have been in an allegedly unhealthy religion try and evade the earnout cost.

Beneath the unique deal, Stillfront didn’t purchase all of Kixeye. Kixeye deliberate to spin off operations associated to the unreleased sport Kingdom Maker, which was nonetheless beneath improvement.

The earnout can be based mostly on a non-GAAP measure of monetary efficiency dubbed adjusted EBITDA (earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). Stillfront allegedly retroactively “readjusted” or deliberately manipulated its pre-merger bills, making all of it however unattainable for Kixeye to hit its earnout goal.

Stillfront additionally allegedly dramatically reduce spending on Kixeye’s video games after the merger, despite the fact that it had described the video games as secure and worthwhile earlier than that. Previous to the acquisition, Kixeye had greater than 70 million distinctive customers.

In January 2020, Stillfront introduced it had laid off the Kingdom Maker staff, eliminating about 20 jobs.

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