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Investment group makes GBP 4.4 million offer for Kuju Plc

Catalis values share price at 50 per cent premium

German investment group Catalis has made a GBP 444 million offer for Kuju Mobile's parent company, Kuju Plc - valuing the shares at a premium of more than 50 per cent.

Speaking to our sister site GamesIndustry.biz about the deal, Kuju CEO Ian Baverstock explained, "Catalis are listed in Germany, but they're a Dutch-registered company. They're building a media services group. They currently own a firm called Testronic, which is a QA company in the film and games industries, and they're looking to add Kuju to their stable.

"I think they look at games as a fast-growing opportunity. From our company's point of view, they're not buying us to do anything to us - they're making this offer because they like the company they've got and want us to continue with our current strategy," he went on.

"We probably would look to expand more aggressively than we would do before, but in every other way, it's definitely business as usual for Kuju."

The offer is 25 pence cash for each Kuju share, with a total value of approximately GBP 4.375 million (6.53 million Euro). That price represents a premimum of 53.8 per cent over the closing price of 16.25 pence per share on December 14. Kuju's board of directors has unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders.

"Because Catalis isn't a games publisher, they're not another games developer, they've got no intention of coming in and transforming Kuju into something else," Baverstock said.

"The deal should be positive for the staff, and it should be positive for the customers, and should give us the ability to execute on a grander ambition."

And it's not just good news for Kuju, according to Baverstock. "I think it's definitely a positive sign in terms of the whole UK scene. UK game developers are seen as being amongst the best in the world, and I think it's a sign of the industry going from strength to strength at the moment," he observed.

"You've got this consolidation going on around the world, but also increasingly varied players coming in and saying, 'This is something we want to be part of.'"

Kuju Mobile is based in Surrey and was established in April 2000. A Java specialist, KM has produced more than 60 titles and has close relationships with technology partners such as Nokia.

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