PAI Partners trades $1.4B for legendary board game Settlers of Catan

Thanks in large part to the continued popularity of Settlers of Catan, French gaming company Asmodee increased 8.4x in value over the past 5 years.

July 24, 2018

Asmodee, the French board game barons and makers of the cult-classic game Settlers of Catan, just sold to private equity company PAI Partners for $1.4B — that’s a lot of sheep. 

The company, worth just $167m in 2013, has soared in value thanks to the continuing Catan craze. 

Catan’s creator traveled one long road to success

Before Klaus Teuber designed the board game that The Washington Post would call “the board game of our time,” he was just a 2nd-generation dental technician with a dream.

But the 1995 release of Settlers — a game that takes only minutes to learn, where players trade resources like sheep, bricks, and ore to build settlements — was so successful that Teuber ditched fillings in 1999 to focus full time on game development.

Settlers isn’t a game, it’s a lifestyle…

Catan pioneered a renewed love of board games in America that ranged from Silicon Valley to college campuses. 

Settlers of Catan has sold more than 22m copies in more than 30 languages, and Teuber has crafted dozens of spinoffs that range from Game of Thrones Catan to Star Trek Catan.

Die-hard Settler fans have also found increasingly creative ways to expand the Catan universe — creating everything from Catan wine goblets to a Catan movie (still in production).

Catan has changed hands more than a pile of ore

The runaway success of Teuber’s masterpiece also inspired many different partners to trade some resources for a piece of Catan’s empire. 

Teuber’s personal company, Catan GmbH, licenses the game to different publishers (just like an author of a book). Today, Settlers is distributed by 12 different publishers in different markets. 

The English market, one of the largest, was managed by a company called Mayfair until 2016, when it was bought by Asmodee. Now, PAI is swiping Asmodee — and all its Settlements — after its value increased 8.4x in 5 years thanks to Catan’s popularity.

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