Digital Media M&A

Atari-Infogrames Buying Multiplayer Games Developer Cryptic Studios for $27.6 Million — French video games company Infogrames, majority shareholder of Atari, s buying Las Gatos, CA-based online multiplayer games developer Cryptic Studios for $27.6 million in cash and shares—with earn-out clauses taking the figure to $55.1 million by 2011 depending on the performance of Cryptic’s games. Infogrames is issuing company bonds to get its hands on the company which it hopes will boost Atari’s online games growth in America and abroad with its games including Champions Online, due for release next year, and a Star Trek game slated for 2010. Cryptic says it generated more than $100 million from its City of Heroes and City of Villains multiplayer games, before selling them to NCSoft. The company has about 150 full-time staff and for the 12 months June 30 it made revenues of $17 million.

IK Sells Wehkamp — IK Investment Partners has sold Dutch online retailer Wehkamp to a group of undisclosed private investors. No financial terms were disclosed. IK and credit management company Transfair originally acquired Wehkamp in early 2006 from UK retailer GUS PLC. A source familiar with the situation said the deal is worth about 500 million euros ($663.4 million) to IK, which acquired the business in 2006 from GUS plc, which subsequently demerged into Home Retail Group (HOME.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Experian (EXPN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). IK said its reorganisation of the retailer into three online stores for fashion, living and electronics has turned around Wehkamp’s declining sales to produce an average annual growth rate of 5 percent and a doubling of operating profits.

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