The acquisition of Corsair shows there’s even bigger money in esports

Gaming peripheral and component maker Corsair has confirmed that it is to be acquired by New York-based private equity firm EagleTree Capital in a deal valued at $525 million. 

The firm, formerly known as Wasserstein Partners, has taken a majority stake in the vendor and will act as lead investors in conjunction with joint investors Investment Management Corporation of Ontario and the Honeywell pension. 

Speaking of the acquisition, EagleTree co-managing partner George Majoros Jr. noted that Corsair’s reputation in gaming along with its involvement in esports were deciding factors towards pursuing a deal.

“This is a transformative time in the PC gaming industry. A rapidly growing global gamer population, together with the rise of esports and streaming, has made PC gaming one of the world’s most dynamic industries. Corsair is the undisputed leader in PC gaming hardware and has built a strong brand on a foundation of quality, innovation and an unwavering commitment to its passionate fans. We look forward to working with Andy and Corsair’s talented management team to maintain the company’s focus on innovative products, to expand into new markets, and to pursue selective transactions.”

Corsair Components, founded in 1994 as Corsair Microystems, was set up by Don Lieberman, John Beekley, and the aforementioned Andy Paul. Initially starting off in the production of Cache on a stick (COASt) modules for OEMs, the company has moved into various different elements of PC gaming, including DRAM modules along with high-end peripherals, air and water cooling solutions and other performance components. 

Paul, speaking on the deal, said: “We are very fortunate to have attracted such experienced investment partners. EagleTree’s backing will allow us to continue to focus first and foremost on our loyal and passionate customers and accelerate our investment in innovation and new technology and products to enhance the quality experience that enthusiasts and gamers have come to expect from us.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of this big-money move is the investment firm’s focus on esports and streaming. It was predicted earlier this year that revenues for both will reach $3.5 billion by 2021, and with Corsair being such a prominent force in the market it is no surprise that a large investment company would want in. Equally, the PC gaming market is growing, and was valued at over $30 billion in 2016.

It is unlikely that this new majority stakeholder will make many drastic alterations to Corsair’s corporate strategy, with getting a slice of the gaming pie being the driving force behind the deal. Still, it shows that there’s more financial interest than ever before in the PC gaming market. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see more deals of this nature happen with other gaming-related brands in the not-so-distant future. 

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