Intrepid announced today that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to KontrolFreek, LLC (KontrolFreek) on its sale to SteelSeries, a global leader in gaming accessories for eSports and gaming enthusiasts, and a portfolio company of Denmark-based Axcel Management (Axcel). Founded in 2007, KontrolFreek pioneered the Performance Gaming GearÔ category. The company’s lines of Performance Thumbsticksâ, Performance GripsÔ and Precision RingsÔ, along with other high quality products including Gaming LightsÔ and Gaming CablesÔ, enhance the gaming experience by increasing player comfort, control, and accuracy while reducing hand fatigue. Followed passionately by the devoted FreekNation community, KontrolFreek enjoys widespread appeal among millions of gamers of all skill levels.
Key participants in the transaction shared some of their thoughts:
What did you seek in a sell-side advisor? Why did you select Intrepid?
“When we first set out on this process, we were looking for a banker that knew the gaming space, was aggressive, and understood how to position fast-growing enthusiast brands, and importantly was someone we liked,” said Ashish Mistry, CEO of KontrolFreek. “Gary and his team did a terrific job preparing and guiding us throughout the process,” said Mistry. “We were impressed by Intrepid’s expertise, deep knowledge, and global relationships in the gaming industry, which played a critical role in uncovering the best partner for KontrolFreek.”
What made SteelSeries stand out among other potential acquirers?
“We set out to find an acquirer that really valued the KontrolFreek brand and customer base and wanted to grow in the console category. SteelSeries was a logical fit, having a premium brand and global operations while historically focused primarily on PC gaming. Our collective vision for the future of gaming aligns well, and we believe KontrolFreek will thrive as a part of SteelSeries,” further commented Ashish Mistry.
What made KontrolFreek an attractive acquisition target?
“Under the ownership of Axcel, SteelSeries has been aggressively looking to grow both organically and through acquisitions,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, CEO of SteelSeries “With next-generation consoles launching and gaming interest at an all-time high, acquiring KontrolFreek represented an attractive way to firmly establish ourselves with console gamers and expand our suite of products. We look forward to adding KontrolFreek’s team and capabilities to our own and know this acquisition will open new opportunities to entertain, delight, and assist gamers across the world.”
What are your thoughts on this outcome for KontrolFreek?
“The KontrolFreek team has built an incredible brand and product line within the gaming peripherals market, and we enjoyed serving as a strategic resource to the company,” commented Gary Rabishaw, Managing Director and Head of Commercial & Consumer Technology at Intrepid. “We believe this is a great outcome for KontrolFreek, and we congratulate Ashish and the team. We look forward to seeing what they can accomplish with their collaboration with SteelSeries.”
KontrolFreek is the second acquisition that SteelSeries has completed since partnering with Axcel in 2019 and will accelerate SteelSeries’ vision of selling controllers and accessories for console, PC, and mobile gaming platforms, as well as expand its customer base through the addition of KontrolFreek’s growing social community of more than four million gamers.
Deal Team Contacts
About Intrepid’s Commercial & Consumer Technology Practice
Intrepid’s Commercial & Consumer Technology team provides a unique blend of proven execution expertise, deep industry knowledge, and relationships cultivated over many years of dedicated coverage. Target sectors include pro audio/visual products and services, musical products, and consumer and residential technologies. By focusing on these sectors, our industry bankers have a deep understanding of prevailing trends and value drivers.