Giant Interactive goes private in $1.6 billion share buyback

Deal values publisher at $3 billion

Giant Interactive goes private in $1.6 billion share buyback

King might be going public, but in China the direction of cash flow for some games companies is in the opposite direction.

Shanda Games is considering a deal to take the company private, while Giant Interactive - which traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticket GA - has just accepted a similar deal.

The proposal was made by its chairman Shi Yuzhu and backed by Barings Private Equity Asia and Hony Capital of China.

They already owned 47 percent of the company.

Originally priced at $11.75 per share, the bid was accepted at $12 per share, valuing Giant Interactive at $3 billion.

The purchasers will take on debt financing of $850 million in order to meet their buyback cost of $1.6 billion.

Mobile transition

One of China's large PC online publishers, Giant Interactive had annual revenue in 2013 of $389 million and net income of $207 million.

The company has been slow into mobile games, although it says they will be a major strategic growth focus during 2014.

Giant's first mobile game will be Kung Fu BBQ in April, followed by a mobile version of its popular PC game ZT Online.

[source: New York Times]

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A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.