Digital rules out mandatory offer for Starbreeze as raises stake

MILAN (Reuters) - Digital Bros DIB.MI said on Wednesday it has raised its stake in Starbreeze STZEb.ST to 28.6% of the Swedish videogames producer's voting rights but ruled out going above the 30% threshold that would oblige it to make a full bid.

The Italian company said it had bought a 5.76% stake in Starbreeze, increasing its holding in the publisher of the videogame Payday to 7% of its share capital and making it the Swedish firm’s largest shareholder by voting rights.

“Our intention is to continue our support as a partner, and not to exceed the 30% mandatory bidding threshold. Due to our recent agreement with Smilegate Holdings we will continuously monitor and manage our holdings accordingly,” Digital Bros said.

It said in a statement it had paid Swedish holding company Varvtre, owned by the former CEO of Starbreeze, 1.36 SEK per Smilegate share, a total of 25.8 million SEK ($2.7 million), and included a potential earn-out.

Digital Bros said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement with South Korean company Smilegate Holdings that would allow it to increase its stake in Starbreeze.

Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Alexander Smith