ZeniMax Media receives $150 million from investment firm

ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Game Studios (Fallout 3, Oblivion) and id Software (DOOM, RAGE), has received a $150 million investment by Providence Equity Partners. This is a "supplement" to an earlier investment of $300 million by the firm, made back in October of 2007.

The money will be used to make games (duh), expand publishing operations (figured), and for strategic acquisitions (... interesting). Since Providence's previous investment, ZeniMax re-established the Fallout franchise in the console space and purchased id Software. Along with obtaining several hallowed franchises from the id acquisition, the company also nabbed John Carmack's technical expertise, which now grants Bethesda-published games exclusive use of id Tech 5.
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ZENIMAX MEDIA RECEIVES $150 MILLION INVESTMENT
FROM PROVIDENCE EQUITY PARTNERS

Current investment supplements $300 Million Capital Raise in 2007



Rockville, MD, October 6, 2010 – ZeniMax Media Inc. today announced the closing of a $150 million investment by Providence Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm, in convertible preferred stock of the Company. The proceeds will be used to fund additional growth through increased game development, expanded publishing operations, and strategic acquisitions. The new investment by Providence supplements an earlier investment of $300 Million made by the firm in October 2007.

ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Robert A. Altman, its Chairman and CEO, and through its wholly owned subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks, publishes original interactive entertainment content for gaming consoles (including the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, the PC, handheld/wireless devices, and online gaming).

Among the studios that develop games for ZeniMax are its subsidiaries Bethesda Game Studios (which developed the 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout® 3, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®), id Software (which invented the first person shooter genre and created such classic games as DOOM®, the 2004 Game of the Year, Return to Castle Wolfenstein®, and Quake®, as well as its upcoming, highly anticipated release, RAGE™), and Arkane Studios (which created Arx Fatalis® and helped develop Bioshock 2).

"Though a number of prominent private equity firms offered to invest with us on attractive terms, we chose Providence as they have proved to be an ideal partner for us over the past 3 years as we built our business. We believed that furthering that relationship was the right course for us. Providence shares our strategic vision for the Company and is excited by the opportunity to help us strengthen a position of leadership in this industry," said Mr. Altman.

"We are pleased to increase our investment and support the continuing growth of what we consider to be the best managed company in the videogame industry," said Michael Dominguez, a Managing Director of Providence. "Since our original investment in 2007, ZeniMax Media has tripled the size of its development portfolio and assembled an extraordinary library of major game franchises, along with some of the best development talent in the world. Its valuable proprietary technology and focus on high quality development are driving growth. We look forward to working with Robert to continue building ZeniMax Media over the long-term as an innovator and leader in the global video game market."

Mr. Dominguez will remain on the Company's Board of Directors, which is currently led by Mr. Altman and includes ZeniMax Media President Ernest Del, Leslie Moonves (President and CEO of CBS), Harry E. Sloan (Chairman Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.), Robert S. Trump (President of Trump Management), noted film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.