Walt Disney May Buy Out Indiagames
Mumbai-based Indiagames, the triple play (PC, mobile, DTH) gaming subsidiary of the media and entertainment group UTV Software Communications, may be acquired by the Walt Disney Company, reports AllThingsD.
Disney already owns majority stake in Indiagames via its Rs 2,000 crore acquisition of UTV in July this year. Almost immediately after the takeover, Disney announced a delisting offer for the BSE-listed UTV that would take the group private and cost it somewhere between Rs 2,100 crore and Rs 2,150 crore ($482 million).
UTV Software had 58 per cent stake in Indiagames. Now, Disney is apparently looking to acquire the rest of the stake from founder and CEO Vishal Gondal, as well as minority investors, such as Adobe and Cisco Systems. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Indiagames management and existing investors were looking to buy back UTV Software's stake and that they were raising funds from private equity investors.
Gondal is currently a partner at a seed venture capital fund called Sweat and Blood Venture Group, which has invested in three start-ups so far â€“ Mumbai-based Gama Entertainment Systems, a developer and manufacturer of entertainment hardware and software products for the retail industry, Instablogs, a blogging community, and Kyko, a start-up currently in stealth mode. Gondal did not respond to our attempts to reach him.
Indiagames joined UTV's fold in 2006, when it was acquired for Rs 68 crore. According to AllThingsD, which first reported the buy-out, Indiagames is now valued between $80 million and $100 million (Rs 390-Rs 490 crore). The company reported a financial turnaround in the fiscal ended March 2011 and posted a net profit of Rs 2.47 crore, compared to the net loss of Rs 3.49 crore in the previous fiscal. Operating revenues stood at Rs 52.3 crore.
The company has 270 professionals on board and may hire another 50-100 people this year for product development as it experiences high traction in mobile gaming and online subscription-based gaming.
The Indian gaming market has 12-15 million paying gamers and over 40 million unique users who download free games online and on the mobile. Indiagames is the leading game developer in the country and its mobile gaming division has developed games like DLF IPL T20, T20Fever and Bruce Lee. Mobile gaming has contributed to a little over two-thirds of the company's overall revenue.
Indiagames also offers 300 PC games through its Games on Demand (GoD) service that has 80,000 subscribers till date. The firm has recently launched the Ra.One game and is now planning a rural gaming initiative across digital platforms. To know more, read Vishal Gondal's interview where he talks about the gaming sector, monetisation models, operator decks, gaming on Tablets and the growth of the domestic gaming market.