The law firm, which has particular specialisms in gaming, sports and technology deals, expects to see more IPOs and buyouts of esports businesses in the near future.
European law firm Fieldfisher has advised Zeus Capital and Mirabaud Securities in their capacities as joint bookrunners and brokers on Guild Esports’ initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.
Fieldfisher corporate partner Anthony Brockbank, who led the legal team advising Zeus Capital and Mirabaud Securities, commented:
“We are excited to have been involved in the first UK-listing of an esports business and to have assisted our longstanding broker clients on delivering a highly successful IPO for Guild.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has been a testing time for many companies, it is inspiring to see new businesses emerge from and capitalise on the changes in habits brought about by the lockdown.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests the curtailment of other leisure opportunities is driving consumers towards at-home pursuits and activities that do not involve mingling or travelling.
“We expect to see more transactions in this area as other esports companies look to follow Guild in embarking on deals to expand their activities and market share.
“The London IPO market is showing signs of heating up again and is proving attractive to new kinds of businesses like esports looking for ways to extend their reach and accelerate their growth.”
Guild’s shares were admitted to the standard listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and to trading on the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange today (2 October 2020), after the company raised £20 million from an oversubscribed placing on 29 September 2020.
Guild Esports is a global esports business, which was launched in 2020 and is headquartered in London. The company is co-owned by David Beckham, the international football superstar who is one of Guild’s founding shareholders.
With a target valuation of c.£50 million, Guild is entering several esports disciplines over the next year, with its inaugural teams competing in popular titles including Rocket League, FIFA and Fortnite.
The company plans to use the proceeds from its IPO to recruit for and establish these professional teams, as well as investing in the Guild brand and expanding its activities.
Esports, where spectators watch players video gaming competitively, was a rapidly growing industry prior to Covid-19 and has seen its popularity surge during lockdown, with Britons spending significantly more time at home than before and with many live sports paused or unable to host crowds.
The Fieldfisher deal team comprised Anthony Brockbank and Lily Searle, with additional support from Maddie Hibbard and Brad Isaac.