China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, the country’s biggest social networking and online entertainment firm, has agreed to buy 14.6 percent stake in Glu Mobile, a San Francisco-based publisher of mobile games, for $126 million.
The latest move by Tencent is being viewed as the company’s attempt to expand in the U.S. gaming market, Reuters reported, adding that the Chinese company will pay $6 a share for its stake in Glu Mobile, representing a premium of about 11 percent to the stock’s Wednesday close. After the announcement, Glu Mobile’s shares rose about 24 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.
“Tencent is arguably the biggest gaming company in the world,” Re/Code quoted Glu CEO Niccolo De Masi as saying. “It’s a case of fewer, bigger better, and not a volumetric approach in either direction. … We do believe we can grow our China business considerably given how large that market is now.”
Glu Mobile, which produces the popular “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game, posted better-than-expected first quarter results on Wednesday, thanks to strong demand for games such as “Racing Rivals,” “Deer Hunter 2014” and “Contract Killer: Sniper.”
Tencent, the world's largest gaming company by revenue, is the owner of “League of Legends” developer Riot Games, and has a stake in Activision Blizzard, which owns the “Call of Duty” franchise.
According to research firm Newzoo, Tencent was the leading gaming company worldwide last year, with more than $7.2 billion in revenue. The company has also had considerable success with games that run on its mobile messaging service WeChat, the South China Morning Post reported.