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September 26, 2009

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Home » Business » IT

Nasdaq victory for games division

SHANDA Games, a spin-off of China's biggest games firm, raised US$1.04 billion in a initial public offering in the United States yesterday, the biggest US IPO so far this year.

It represented investors' still high expectations about China's booming online game market, which is expected to double in five years, analysts said.

On the Nasdaq market, Shanda Games sold 83.5 million American depositary receipts at US$12.50 per share, the high end of the indicated price range, according to a sales document.

"Given the recent success of Changyou and growing investor interest in the China online game sector, we don't expect the underwriters to have any problems getting the deal done and expect the over allotment to be fully exercised," said a note from Roth Capital Partners, a US-based investment bank.

The deal, managed by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co, followed Ltd's IPO on the Nasdaq in April. Changyou, the game division of Inc, has doubled its share price since April.

Shanda Games now has more than 9.73 million paying customers for 31 game titles, according to regulatory filings. Shanda Games' revenue jumped 43 percent to US$321.9 million in the first half. The net profit was US$98.3 million, jumping 75 percent, in the same period.

In 2013, China's online game market revenue will reach US$5.8 billion, more than double last year, thanks to its 300 million users, according to IDC, a US-based IT research firm.

After the IPO, Shanda Interactive will hold a 78.1-percent stake in Shanda Games and hold 97 percent of shareholder voting power.

Shanda Interactive will then expand into music and online literary services.



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