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Anil's gaming firm eyes US, China cos


Posted on: May 19, 2008

KOLKATA: Reliance Group's-owned gaming firm Zapak Digital Entertainment on Sunday said it is eyeing acquisitions in the United States and China and is holding simultaneous talks with six companies in this connection. "Discussions are on with two Chinese companies, and 3-4 US firms," Zapak chief operating officer Rohit Sharma told TOI, while declining to name these outfits citing non-disclosure agreements. "We hope to make an announcement in the next quarter," he added.

Sharma said the prospective acquisitions are unlikely to be 100% buyouts and be in the nature of majority stake-buys. "The acquisitions will provide us an entry into new territories and access to an established customer base," he said. Currently, the Indian market did not hold out much scope for takeovers, he added.

However, Sharma refused to comment on Zapak's financial performance in 2007-08 and the outlook for the current fiscal. Zapak is a part of Reliance Big Entertainment. "The group has committed an investment of $100 million over a five -year period from inception (2006)," he added.

Sharma said Zapak is also targeting 4-5 exclusive licensing tie-ups to attract "hardcore gamers' who contribute the maximum revenue to a gaming company. Last month, China's Shanda, a Nasdaq-listed entity, had granted an exclusive right to Zapak to operate the former's online racing game in India. "We want to raise the number of our gaming cafes from 21 to 500 by March 2009," he added.


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