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Mad Catz acquires Tritton in $10m deal

Headset manufacturer becomes latest acquisition of peripherals specialist

Third-party console accessory maker Mad Catz has acquired fellow Californian company Tritton, a creator of high-end audio headsets.

In the deal, struck yesterday, Mad Catz gains 100 per cent ownership of Tritton, in exchange for $1 million up-front and a promise of up to $9 million across five years, dependent on the headset manufacturer's sales performance.

As part of the acquisition, Mad Catz will be creating roles for Tritton founder and CEO Christopher Von Huben, and a 'limited number' of other key Tritton employees.

"We are thrilled to be joining the Mad Catz organisation," said Von Huben. "Tritton has built a successful brand and lineup of gaming audio headsets and computer peripheral products. I am confident that with Mad Catz' global capabilities we can significantly increase our market penetration and more rapidly grow the Tritton brand."

Mad Catz has previously acquired game controller manufacturers Saitek and Joytech, and in February revealed Christmas 2009's profits were up 19 per cent on 2008's, with a net profit of $48.8 million.

In April, Mad Catz signed a multi-year deal with music game developer Harmonix to create all future accessories for the Rock Band franchise - including the upcoming Rock Band 3. It is possible that Tritton's audio device technology will be leveraged for this purpose.

Tritton's range of headphone and microphone all-in-ones retail for between $69.99 and $169.99, many of which offer wireless and surround sound support, and are compatible with all current-gen gaming platforms. The company also manufactures several video output devices for the PC. In 2009, the firm generated $8 million in revenue.

"The gaming headset category is one of the fastest growing within the gaming sector, and the acquisition of Tritton significantly enhances Mad Catz' opportunities in this very attractive market segment," said Darren Richardson, President and CEO of Mad Catz.

"Tritton has developed an attractive portfolio of premium products and a brand that resonates strongly with gaming enthusiasts. Additionally, this acquisition further diversifies Mad Catz' revenue base and is consistent with our strategy to create shareholder value by leveraging our global capabilities with high-value products that enhance the gaming experience."

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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