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Pandemic debt varies across Europe:

While the pandemic saw government debt increase across Europe, the effects varied from country to country. While Spain saw gross government debt increase by 26.3 percentage points, Ireland’s debt rose by just 0.4 points. The UK saw a rise of 18.8 percentage points, pushing it to 103.7% of GDP, the highest debt rate of the post-war era.

Gaming sector deals expected to exceed $150bn in 2022

The video gaming sector could see more than $150bn of new deals, fundraising and financing this year, following recently announced acquisitions by Microsoft, Sony and Take-Two Interactive.

Reports suggest a new record could be reached in 2022, after a number of big deals already announced in January. These include Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard for almost $70bn; as well as Take-Two Interactive – the publisher behind games such as Grand Theft Auto and Mafia – acquiring mobile game developer Zynga for $12.7bn; and most recently Sony announcing plans to buy Bungie the original creator behind the Halo video game series for $3.6bn.

These deals alone bring the total close to last year’s record of $85bn across more than 1,159 deals in the whole of 2021, according to research from Drake Star Partners. In addition, that figure was almost three times higher than the total for 2020, highlighting the consolidation in the industry in the pursuit of new revenue streams.


WeTransfer cancels IPO over market volatility

WeRock the Dutch company behind the file-sharing service WeTransfer has cancelled its planned listing on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange over concerns about volatile market conditions.

The listing was expected to be Europe’s first big tech listing of the year, with a valuation of around $714-$813m. However, in a statement it said it had cancelled the planned listing on 28 January “due to volatile market conditions” despite substantial investor interest.

It marks a continuation of the apparent drop in appetite for IPOs after a bumper first half of 2021 that then moved into a period of cancellations and postponements towards the end of the year.

January’s volatile markets prompted a number of companies to  either cancel or delay planned listings. So far, aside from WeRock’s change of heart, reports suggest the German drugmaker Cheplapharm Arzneimittel has delayed its planned listing, as did the UK law firm Mishcon de Reya. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering postponed its $1bn listing last week


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