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Shanda Games' NASDAQ buyout moves from the convoluted to the ridiculous

Shanda Games' NASDAQ buyout moves from the convoluted to the ridiculous

If there's a prize for the most complex corporate deal of 2014, Chinese PC/mobile publisher Shanda Games aced it months ago.

The NASDAQ-floated outfit (NASDAQ:GAME) received a $1.9 billion proposal to take the company private in January.

So far, so normal.

But since that point, there's been no official announcement concerning whether the deal will be accepted.

Instead, the company has lost its CEO and a member of the special committee considering the deal, seen all the companies in the original buy-out consortium themselves bought out, and awarded 8 key staff golden handcuffs worth at least $13 million.

Who? What? WTF?

The latest twist in the twist in the tale is that former controlling shareholder Shanda Interactive Entertainment has sold all its shares.

Half (almost 49 million shares) have been sold to an investment holding company which is an affiliate of the textile company that's a key part of the buy-out consortium.

The other half have been sold to an investment company that's an affiliate of Shanda Games' acting CEO Yingfeng Zhang.

The result is that the textile company - Ningxia Zhongyincashmere International Group Co., Ltd - now owns 24.1 percent of Shanda Games shares and controls 40.1 percent of the voting shares.

Acting CEO Yingfeng Zhang controls 9.1 percent of the shares but 34.5 percent of the voting shares.

The additional icing on the confusion cake sees Shanda Games' director and chairman of the board Tianqiao Chen resigning, being replaced by acting CEO Yingfeng Zhang.

In addition, Ningxia Zhongyincashmere International Group Co., Ltd director Shengming Ma has been appointed a director of Shanda Games.


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz 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.

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