Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mandalay Trying To Get More Game With Schaaf & $35mil World Poker Tour Bid

Not only is Mandalay Media (MNDL) clearly not heeding my advice to focus on adult mobile content, rather than trying to become a major player in the crowded mobile games space, it looks like their gaming ambitions run much deeper than mobile. Yesterday they announced that former Sorrent (now Glu Mobile) and Navio executive Ray Schaaf, a guy they characterized as a "mobile gaming veteran," has taken a position as company President. They followed that today with an announcement that the company has made a $35mil cash & stock bid to buy World Poker Tour (WPTE), at a 54% premium over its stock price and a 23% premium over an offer that's apparently already on the table (and pretty close to being done) from a company called Peerless Media. I don't have a clue where Mandalay is getting the cash for this audacious bid for a company, that at first glance, looks to be in better (if not equally not good) financial shape than it's in. But what I do know, is that if this acquisition is successful, it will radically realign and diversify the media holding company beyond mobile porn and games. That said, on the mobile front it would give Mandalay (and its Twistbox division) access to a proven, powerful franchise that's been shepherded for many years, under license, by Hands-On Mobile... who can't like this one bit.

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