Media and Games Invest SE (MGI), a media and gaming conglomerate, has announced it intends to relocate its headquarters from Malta to Sweden, citing the FATF’s decision to greylist Malta as one of the reasons.
“As a result of Malta’s greylisting by the FATF in mid-2021, the Board of Directors and the management of MGI believes that the company’s registration in Malta may result in an increased risk premium on the company’s shares,” MGI said in a statement.
The company’s Maltese registration “may also preclude certain prospective investors from investing in the company”, MGI added, citing a need to reduce “administrative complexity” as further motivation for its decision.
Other reasons mentioned by MGI include its listing in Sweden in 2020 and the shifting of its core businesses to North America and Continental Europe.
The gaming conglomerate’s board of directors, whose worldwide reach extends to 2.9 billion online and mobile game players, has also proposed the relocation due to MGI’s familiarity with Sweden’s capital markets and its “very strong local network” in that country.
The company’s strategy, described as a process that started in 2020, refers to stricter requirements in terms of adequate governance following a boom in quarterly revenues and a five-fold increase in its workforce as other aspects of its restructuring process.
According to MGI’s statement, its revenue grew from €45 million in the third quarter of 2018 to €221 million in the third quarter of last year.
“Through the relocation to Sweden and further strengthening of the governance structure, the company expects to complete the transformation by the end of 2022 with an effective date in January 2023. Furthermore, a large part of the company’s shareholders hail from the Nordics and the regulatory framework is globally recognised,” the statement adds.
More than 100 companies had, in a survey published by the Malta Employers’ Association in June, blamed the greylisting on the authorities’ inability to prevent money laundering, enforce rule of law across the board, deal with institutional corruption and provide financial transparency.
In November 2021, The Shift published an article about an international fintech company’s decision to leave the island, a decision that was directly linked to Malta’s greylisting by the FATF as well as the conduct of financial watchdogs following the greylisting.