The story. The deal hasn’t been approved by Cranium’s shareholders yet, and apparently the $77 mil “would be used to cover Cranium’s outstanding debt and to pay its shareholders.” Those shareholders are venture capitalists, including a firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz – recall the famous story of one of the Cranium founders pitching Schultz during a mountain-climbing trip, and the presence of Cranium games in every damn Starbucks there is. The linked article reminds us that Hasbro paid $325MM for WotC nine years ago, which either says that Cranium makes a lot less than it seems to or that venture capital is not really that awesome for a game company to have. On the other hand, going into debt and being forced to sell for $77 million beats a lot of game-industry outcomes I can think of. On the other other hand, Cranium’s founders will be leaving after a transitional period – I’m sure they’ll cry all the way to the bank. Maybe they’ll cook up a new game venture.
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