Carlyle hands Jagex controller to CVC and Haveli

Jagex is a UK video game developer and publisher.

  • Carlyle Partners VII invested in Jagex in January 2021
  • Jagex is the developer of the RuneScape series
  • The company has around 700 employees

UPDATED. Carlyle Group has agreed to sell UK video game developer and publisher Jagex to CVC Capital Partners and Haveli Investments after a three-year holding period.

The deal has an enterprise value of £910 million (€1.1 billion; $1.2 billion), according to sources close to the matter.

Jagex is behind the RuneScape series, a collection of massively multiplayer online role-playing games. The series has been around for more than 20 years and has 2.4 million active subscribers and one million free-to-play users, according to a release. Jagex has around 700 employees, is based in Cambridge and was founded in 2000.

Caryle invested in Jagex in January 2021 via its flagship US buyout fund Carlyle Partners VII and its €1.35 billion mid-market tech fund Carlyle Europe Technology Partners IV. It then worked to increase growth across core titles via operational adjustments, widen the distribution of its game portfolio and invest in new content.

Acquisitions included Gamepires in 2022 and Pipeworks Studios in 2022.

CVC is investing via its Fund VIII.

“Our ambition is to bring relevant experience from our sports, media and entertainment assets to help realise the full potential of Jagex over the years ahead,” said Nick Clarry, managing partner and head of CVC’s sports, media and entertainment team, in a release. “This will involve continuing to improve the existing RuneScape games, the accessibility to games on various platforms and reinvesting into new IP content to create the exciting games of tomorrow.”

The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Morgan Stanley and Aream were financial advisors for Carlyle. Goldman Sachs advised the CVC and Haveli vehicle.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the enterprise value.