New Delhi: Mobile games publisher Nazara Technologies Ltd on Tuesday said it acquired a 55% stake in Gurugram-based NODWIN Gaming Pvt. Ltd, a gaming solutions company and creator of e-sports events, through a cash-and-stock deal.

Launched in 2014, NODWIN is an equal joint venture between founders Akshat Rathee and Gautam Virk, and Jetsynthesys Pvt. Ltd, a Pune-based firm which owns several digital media properties.

Both Jetsynthesys and NODWIN promoters have diluted their stake in the NODWIN as part of the deal, said Nazara chief executive officer Manish Agarwal. He declined to comment on financial details.

“NODWIN will not only help Nazara create and execute its own e-sports tournaments, but will help “in expanding e-sports into other emerging markets, work with Nazara to get more global publishers to India and create e-sports on mobile," Agarwal said. It will operate as an independent subsidiary of Nazara.

eSports, short for electronic sports, is a digital media format where virtual game-play is monetized as video content and streamed in a fashion similar to football matches. It is also a popular advertising platform worldwide for game developers and technology firms.

In February last year, Nazara announced its plans to launch eSports tournaments and committed to spending Rs136 crore over five years to grow it as a separate business for the company.

NODWIN has exclusive partnerships with Electronics Sports League, Esports World Convention, among others, and manages IP-based gaming events such as the ESL India Premiership, KO Fight Nights, The Intel Extreme Masters qualifiers for India and Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) India Qualifiers.

With the acquisition, Nazara plans to create gaming tournaments in India, including localized content around global events (ESL One, ESL Pro League, Intel Extreme Masters, The International by Valve, etc) and expand on its partnership with publishers and advertisers.

Nazara, which is currently firming up plans for an initial public offering, has been on an acquisition spree since it raised Rs330 crore from India Infoline Finance Ltd in December.

Earlier this month, it acquired a majority stake in Chennai-based NextWave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd, the company behind World Cricket Championship mobile game. In the past, Nazara has made undisclosed investments in Moonglabs and Truly Social.

Nazara is open to more acquisitions, said Agarwal. “We are trying to create a network of companies with very capable founders running them independently."

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