Video Game Publisher GCL Asia to Go Public via Merger with RF Acquisition CorpOctober 19, 2023
Grand Centrex Limited (“GCL,” “GCL Asia” or the “Company”), one of Asia’s leading video game distributors and publishers, announced that it, together with its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, has entered into a definitive business combination agreement (“BCA”) with RF Acquisition Corp (“RF Acquisition”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, and RF Dynamic LLC that will result in GCL Asia becoming a publicly listed company (the “Proposed Transaction”).
Upon closing, the combined company (the “Combined Company”) is expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “GCL”. The Combined Company will continue to be led by Jacky See Wee Choo, Group Chairman of GCL Asia, Sebastian Toke, Group CEO of GCL Asia, and other key executive leadership members.
GCL Asia’s shareholders will retain a majority of the Combined Company’s outstanding shares, and GCL Asia will designate a majority of director nominees for the Combined Company’s board.
GCL Asia, together with its operating subsidiaries, collectively provide a full suite of gaming services, targeting the fast-growing video gaming markets of East Asia (“EA”) and Southeast Asia (“SEA”). One of GCL Asia’s subsidiaries, Epicsoft Asia Pte Ltd., enables creators to deliver fun gameplay experiences to Asia’s fast-growing market of gamers, and has over 16 years of operating history in the gaming industry. GCL Asia’s other operating subsidiaries include 4Divinity Limited, 2Game, and Titan Digital Media.
GCL Asia has become an established partner for international PC and video game publishers and developers for EA and SEA. The Company has been the exclusive distributor and marketer for 50% of the best-selling games of all time in the region, including The Witcher 3, Sonic series, Hogwarts Legacy, and Cyberpunk 2077.
Leveraging its unique geographic position and long-term established partnerships with global AAA game publishers, GCL Asia aims to become the next Asian powerhouse in gaming entertainment and content marketing. Following the merger, GCL Asia plans to continue delivering high-quality, engaging gaming experiences to the entire EA and SEA region with brand partners and content creators. The Company plans to leverage its comprehensive gaming ecosystem, bringing Asian-developed games to the global market, and U.S. and E.U.-developed games to the Asian market.
GCL Asia’s primary growth focus lies in the games publishing and IP management of AAA/AA game titles in Asia, which is projected to generate total video game revenues of $222.5 billion in 2023, i.e., 57.8% of worldwide video game revenue. With the number of users in Asia expected to reach approximately 1.7 billion by 2027, comprising 57% of total users worldwide by 2027, GCL Asia plans to leverage its operating experience of over 16 years in game publishing, marketing, and creative media design to cater to the evolving needs of Asian gamers.
GCL Asia’s first title as publisher for Asia, the single-player first-person shooter game “Atomic Heart,” was launched in February 2023. The number of units sold in Asia accounted for nearly half of the global sales to date. The Company plans to publish at least 6[JT3] [st4] new titles slated over the next 12 months.
Tse Meng Ng, Chairman and CEO of RF Acquisition
“We are thrilled to work with Jacky and his visionary team at GCL Asia in their next chapter of growth and expansion in the dynamic Asian gaming market. We greatly respect the publishing and distribution platform and the trusted industry relationships that Jacky and his team have built over the last decade. With the expansion of the business to publishing and IP management, GCL Asia can help game publishers in the U.S. and Europe navigate increasingly sophisticated Asian content and unlock the full potential of the high-growth Asian market. This is a unique opportunity for us to participate in a fast-growing, profitable company at an inflection point in its development.”
Jacky Choo, Group Chairman of GCL Asia
“This is an exciting time for the entire GCL Asia team as we execute our growth strategy in game publishing in Asian markets. Over the past 16 years, we have built a powerful distribution platform based on over 16 multi-year partnerships with AAA and independent game developers and publishers, reaching over 2100 retail touchpoints online and offline. With the support of RF Acquisition and enhanced visibility following the NASDAQ listing, we are now ready to enter the higher-margin segments of game publishing and IP management, deepening our partnership with exceptional content providers, including game studios globally, to bring exciting new experiences to gamers.”
Sebastian Toke, Group CEO of GCL Asia
“GCL Asia has a unique value proposition for games developers and publishers worldwide with our established expertise in games distribution, publishing, and marketing. As more game developers and publishers in the U.S. and Europe set their eyes on the tremendous growth opportunity in the Asia market, GCL Asia is well-positioned as the go-to co-publisher in the Asian region. On the other hand, China-based major games companies have faced difficulties navigating markets outside of China and are seeking a partner with the know-how to execute market outreach & localised marketing in the Asian regions. GCL Asia’s growth trajectory is very clear — we plan to become the gateway to growth in Asia’s gaming scene by leveraging the dynamics in the gaming market ecosystem between developers, publishers, and end users.”
The Proposed Transaction gives GCL Asia approximately $1.2 billion in pre-transaction equity value.
GCL Asia’s existing shareholders will roll over 100% of the equity and retain a majority of the Combined Company’s outstanding shares, while GCL Asia will also designate a majority of the Combined Company’s board of directors.
The Proposed Transaction includes a minimum cash condition of $25,000,000 and is expected to result in GCL Asia receiving gross proceeds of approximately $42.9 million (assuming no further redemptions by RF Acquisition shareholders).
RF Acquisition and GCL Asia have agreed to work together to pursue commitments for a private placement of equity (the “PIPE Financing”), debt, or other alternative financings of up to $20 million.
GCL Asia expects to use proceeds from the Proposed Transaction to accelerate its game publishing and IP management business, alongside its marketing reach with AAA/AA PC game titles.
The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of GCL Asia and RF Acquisition, and its closing is expected to be in the second quarter of 2024, subject to shareholders’ approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Additional information about the Proposed Transaction, including a copy of the business combination agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in one or more Current Reports on Form 8-K to be filed by RF Acquisition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
Winston & Strawn LLP is serving as counsel to RF Acquisition. Loeb & Loeb is serving as GCL Asia’s US counsel. Icon Law is serving as GCL Asia’s Singapore counsel. Early Bird Capital Inc. is serving as a financial advisor to RF Acquisition. AMGM is serving as an advisor to GCL Asia.
About GCL Asia
Grand Centrex Limited (“GCL Asia”) through its subsidiaries, provides a full suite of gaming services and reach, enabling creators to deliver fun experiences to the fast-growing market of Asian gamers. Its operating subsidiaries include Epicsoft Asia Pte Ltd (EPA), 4Divinity Limited, 2Game, and Titan Digital Media. With a presence in eight countries, GCL Asia’s companies connect with developers, publishers, and brand owners to maximise the potential of entertainment properties with consumers in the EA and SEA region.