Gfinity rises as it acquires online fantasy and sci-fi news site Epicstream

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Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it has acquired EpicStream, a leading online news community for fantasy and sci-fi movies, television, video games, collectable cards and comic books.

The AIM-listed esports media firm said it will monetise all of EpicStream’s social channels and that it believed the site’s user numbers and revenues can be “grown through the deployment of a search engine optimisation strategy, technology toolkit and advertising performance optimisation techniques” which it said have delivered strong results for its existing platforms.

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EpicStream.com currently reaches 600,000 unique visitors per month, with a majority of visitors based in the “attractive high value advertising markets” of the US and Canada as well as a growing following in the UK.

Under the terms of the deal, Gfinity will assume ownership of the EpicStream website, its social media networks and historic content, and will place the brand into its Gfinity Digital Media group (GDM).

In return, the two founders of EpicStream, Francis Bayog and Brian McCormick will be issued 10mln new Gfinity shares each as well as an entitlement for an annual payment of 30% of revenues generated by EpicStream in each of the first two years following the acquisition. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Epicstream reported unaudited revenue of US$0.4mln and net income of US$0.3mln.

The company said the purchase of EpicStream is “a further step forward” in its strategic focus on owned content and at a time of “excellent progress” for its GDM business, which it said remains on target to deliver revenue of around £2mln for the current financial year.

In an update on the GDM arm, Gfinity said the business had delivered another record month in November with 14mln monthly users across its sites with revenues in the month exceeding £275,000 for the first time. The group also said GDM’s fourth website, racinggames.gg, went live during the month.

Meanwhile, the company said its formal sales process is progressing as planned and that it is continuing to engage in conversations and evaluate the best options to accelerate the growth of the business.

“We are delighted to welcome the Epicstream team into the Gfinity family. Francis and Brian have built a highly engaged community around all things fantasy and Sci-Fi. It is a perfect fit for GDM. Together we are going to turbocharge the growth of Epicstream and explore adding new sites into the franchise”, Gfinity chief executive John Clarke said in a statement.

“A key pillar of our company strategy is to focus on products and services that we own. This is where GDM sits. The team has done an amazing job of growing our organic sites and partnering with larger media groups who want to connect with gamers.

“The team is also focused on identifying acquisition opportunities. Epicstream is the first of these and we could not be more excited about having the team on board”, he added.

Shares in Gfinity rose 3.9% to 3.7p in late-morning trading on Friday.

–Adds share price–

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