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Keywords begins £50m VMC acquisition

Bringing QA specialist into the fold will be Keywords' "largest acquisition to date"

Services empire Keywords has embarked on the process of acquiring VMC, a rival QA and localisation firm.

The company has entered a conditional agreement to purchase all shares of VMC from current owner Volt Information Services. It is the biggest takeover the company has made so far and will increase Keywords' presence in the North American market.

The cash consideration for the acquisition will be £50.3m ($66.4m), but Keywords is planning to raise around £75m to cover both the takeover and related expenses. The deal will significantly enhance Keywords' earnings, with VMC reportedly generating revenues of £43.5m ($57.4m).

VMC will add two new offerings to the Keywords empire: embedded technical services, and crowd-based testing through its Global Beta Test Nework.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by October 30th, 2017, providing the funds are successful raised.

"We're thrilled to announce the acquisition of VMC which, as our largest acquisition to date, represents an important milestone in our strategy to selectively consolidate the fragmented video games market and generate synergies through scale in certain services and geographies," said Keywords CEO Andrew Day.

"We look forward to working with the team at VMC to support their growth as part of a group providing similar services as we realise the benefits of combining our complementary services and locations into what we believe will be a compelling offering for our broadened client base not only in North America but also internationally."

Since its IPO in 2013, Keywords has acquired more than 20 services firms around the world. Most recent acquisitions include UK games developer D3T, localisation specialist XLOC, and four loc and audio providers in Paris.

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James Batchelor

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James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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