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Atari speeds up distribution sale to Namco Bandai

Remaining 66% stake in Distribution Partners to be sold in next four months

Atari has announced that the sale of its remaining two-thirds share in Distribution Partners, a joint venture with Namco Bandai, will take place in the next four months, ahead of schedule.

The move, which will see Namco Bandai take full control of the EUR 60 million-rated company, will provide additional funds for Atari to continue its push into the online content space, spearheaded by Paulina Bozek's London Studio.

"This announcement is the culmination of our strategic relationship with Namco Bandai Games Europe who have proven to be an outstanding partner in creating the Distribution Partners business," said Atari CEO David Gardner.

"The exercise of the put option will now allow Atari to focus its financial resources and creative energy exclusively on developing and publishing online-enabled games, shifting our operations towards servicing recurring revenues and a higher-margin online business model while still benefiting from access to Distribution Partners strong international distribution network."

The move enables a step closer to the Atari management vision of being "100 per cent dedicated to establishing the company as a leading online game company" and will help ease the pressure from investors keen to see a quicker return on investment in a difficult economic climate.

Atari will continue to benefit from the Distribution Partners global network for the next five years, the statement added.

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Phil Elliott