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Hurray for Shanda as it buys stake for US$46m

SHANDA Interactive Entertainment will buy a majority stake in Hurray Holding Co, a ring tone firm, for US$46.2 million as China's biggest game firm expands in the new media sector.

Shanda, with the support of Hurray's board, offered to buy 51 percent of Nasdaq-listed Hurray at US$4 per ADS (American depositary share), a 25-percent premium over Hurray's closing price last Friday.

"(After the deal) Hurray will continue to develop with the support of Shanda's resources and user base," Chen Tianqiao, Shanda's chief executive, said in a Chinese-language statement to Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Nasdaq-listed Shanda's bid came on the heels of another investor group's attempt to acquire Hurray earlier this year but that bid failed because Hurray's board didn't like the offer.

Hurray's shares fell to 93 US cents three months ago but they started to surge in April following the takeover bids.

Hurray focuses on the sales of ring tones and music for mobile phone users, which will be boosted by the 3G, or third generation, market. Hurray has also expanded into talent management and music production.

Shanda is expanding into other sectors, such as online literacy and mobile phones, to diversify its income channel, according to analysts.



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