Intel buys Irish games firm for US$110m


17 Sep 2007

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Chip giant Intel has acquired the entire share capital of prominent Irish video games software company Havok for US$110m in cash. The deal is envisaged to close within the next five days.

Havok emerged from the computer science department at Trinity College Dublin and was founded by Dr Steve Collins (pictured) and Hugh Reynolds in 1998.

The company developed a physics engine that is used in many of the top selling computer games for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms and its technology has even been used in movies such as The Matrix, Kingdom of Heaven and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The sale of Havok to Intel represents a return on investment for venture capital firm Trinity Venture Capital to the tune of US$21m plus a further US$4m payable over the next 12 to 18 months.

The acquisition will enable developers in the digital animation and game communities to take advantage of Intel’s innovation and technology leadership in the creation of digital media.

“Havok is a proven leader in physics technology for gaming and digital content, and will become a key element of Intel’s visual computing and graphics efforts,” said Renee James, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Software and Solutions Group.

“Havok will operate its business as usual, which will allow them to continue developing products that are offered across all platforms in the industry,” James added.

“Intel’s scale of technology investment and customer reach enable Havok with opportunities to grow more quickly into new market segments with new products than we could have done organically,” said Havok chief executive David O’Meara.

By John Kennedy