MTG eyes expansion into China as Huya buys stake in e-sports firm ESL

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Shares in MTG <MTGb.ST> soared 24% on Monday after the Swedish e-sports and gaming firm said Chinese live streaming platform Huya <HUYA.N> would buy a stake in its portfolio company Turtle Entertainment (ESL) and help it expand into China.

Huya, backed by internet giant Tencent <0700.HK>, will invest $30 million in ESL, at an enterprise value of $425 million, MTG said.

Huya and ESL, the largest e-sports company in the world, will also form a joint venture, while ESL will issue $22 million worth of new shares to facilitate further expansion, it said.

“We are excited to announce this term sheet for an important strategic partnership which provides us with a strong partner in Huya to pave the way for a successful ESL expansion into the thriving Chinese e-sports and gaming market in due time,” MTG Chief Executive Jørgen Madsen Lindemann said in the statement.

The Chinese e-sports market is expected to generate revenue of $210 million this year, overtaking Western Europe as the second-largest e-sports region globally, MTG said.

(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm, editing by Johannes Hellstrom)