Playmaker Capital plots NHL moves after multi-million La Poche Bleue acquisition

The Toronto-based digital sports media firm is looking to expand its North American reach

Playmaker Capital has announced its acquisition of La Poche Bleue, a Quebec-based sports media and entertainment group, in a move designed to ‘unlock a net-new audience’.

The Toronto-based digital sports media firm has acquired 100% of La Poche Bleue in a deal worth $8.8m, including a closing cash payment of $2.25m and the issuance of 1,666,667 Playmaker shares on closing, priced at $0.75 per share.

The transaction also includes two separate earn-out payments of up to a maximum of $5m in the aggregate, payable to the sellers upon La Poche Bleue achieving certain EBITDA targets in each of the 12-month periods ending Aug. 7, 2024 and Aug. 7, 2025, and deferred cash payments of $0.3m, payable to the sellers over the first two years following closing.

70% of the earn-out consideration is payable in cash and 30% of the earn-out consideration is payable by the issuance of Playmaker shares.

La Poche Bleue covers a range of different sports and leagues, including the NFL and MLB, and shines a particular focus on the Montreal Canadiens, which Playmaker aims to utilize to round out its regional and national hockey coverage in time for the upcoming 2023-24 NHL season.

The brand has cultivated a strong Quebec following with its video-podcast series, which includes eight shows served in both French and English language, and will play an integral role in expanding Playmaker’s North American reach.

“We’re very proud of the strong following that La Poche Bleue has cultivated over the past several years, and we’re excited to carry on our mission of developing and promoting Quebec products,” said La Poche Bleue Co-Founders Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse.

“We’re also thrilled about the opportunity to join the Playmaker team which will help us embark on this next phase of growth and expand Playmaker’s business into Quebec.”

Playmaker stated that La Poche Bleue ‘immediately compliments’ The Nation Network’s suite of high-affinity web and social properties, including a top-ranked hockey fantasy website globally, Daily Faceoff, and its growing portfolio of video podcast shows.

Jordan Gnat, Playmaker CEO, added: “We’ve made it very clear that establishing a meaningful and authentic presence in Quebec is core to our continued growth in North America.

“La Poche Bleue is an incredible producer of sports content and consumer products with true fan affinity in Quebec. In addition, Maxim, Guillaume, and [Managing Director] Louis-Philippe [Dorais] are consummate professionals with strong ties to the local community. Maxim and Guillaume are bonafide sports personalities who will continue to drive the brand’s entertaining and culturally relevant content offering.

“This marks a significant step in our North America expansion strategy and an exciting day for Playmaker as we add more great players to our team.”

As part of the deal, Lapierre, Latendresse, and Dorais will remain with the business to continue to lead its growth within Playmaker’s ecosystem of sports media and affiliate businesses.

You might also like