Spin Master acquires Imagination board games

Imagination has sold two of its original board games to Spin Master for AUS$24m.
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Fact or Crap and Battle of the Sexes - which was Australia's biggest board game and the sixth-largest board game in the US at one point - have been sold to Spin Master in a deal that involves earn-out clauses covering the next 18 years.

"It is a lot of money for a cardboard box," Imagination's managing director Shane Yeend said.

"It was the first thing that got us into the games business. So many people spend their lives trying to take games around the world - we are getting three or four out of 10, so it's a good average."

According to reports in Australia, Yeend had attempted to sell the company for $US180 million in 2007 but was foiled by the drawback of international venture capital and then the global financial crisis.

The company recently cut its overheads by more than 70 per cent in response to a halving of its global sales.

Yeend is also battling his former banker, Westpac, for cutting its $30 million funding lifeline over the past 18 months.

"We didn't tick their boxes. We were exporters with a large overseas footprint and our security was our intellectual property.

"It's just too hard for them to value. But I find it ironic that Westpac are (primary) sponsor of the Entrepreneur of the Year award and they hacked down their role models."

Yeend was named Australian Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 and has also won export awards based on the success of the Adelaide company.

He said he was paying up to 18 per cent interest on commercial bills with Westpac, which moved repayment dates forward until the company was in default.

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