nDreams (Mercia Asset Management) – executive interview

Published on 1 December 2021

Mercia Asset Management is an AIM-listed, specialist asset manager with a market cap of approximately £160m, focused on sourcing growth businesses from the UK regions. The group generates recurring fee income from its third-party funds in excess of central costs, which means it is structurally profitable and was able to declare a maiden dividend in FY21 (year to March 2021).

The latest FY21 NAV per share climbed 24% to 40p, but Mercia has continued to perform well, deploying capital into new investments, with 20% annual AUM growth targeted. We expect to see evidence of further NAV growth when the H122 results are published on 7 December 2021.

In a short series of two interviews, we take a glimpse into the group’s direct investment portfolio, looking at two of Mercia’s principal games investments, nDreams and Soccer Manager.

In this interview, I am joined by Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams, a leading international VR developer and publisher working with a number of global games companies and tech companies. Patrick discusses the company’s latest releases, Phantom: Covert Ops and Fracked, and explains how lockdown has boosted the games industry. He also explains why nDreams has launched its own publishing arm, before we discuss the metaverse and what that might mean for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Finally, following the appointment of Frank Sagnier, ex-CEO of Codemasters, as chairman of nDreams, Patrick talks about the lure of the public markets and when nDreams might be ready for an IPO.

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