TOM Online Announces Cisco, Macromedia Acquire Strategic Stakes in Indiagames
HONG KONG, April 29 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- TOM Online Inc. (Nasdaq: TOMO; Hong Kong GEM stock code: 8282), China's leading wireless Internet company, announced today that Cisco Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. will acquire strategic share interests in Indiagames Ltd., a leading global publisher of mobile games majority owned by TOM Online. This move enhances the India-based mobile games publisher's position for global growth.
Cisco and Macromedia will pay a total of US$4 million for a combined stake of 18.2% in Indiagames through subscription of new shares. In view of Cisco and Macromedia's investments, TOM Online will not subscribe for new shares worth US$4 million in the company as stated in its announcement on December 17, 2004.
Following Cisco and Macromedia's investments, TOM Online's share in Indiagames will be diluted to 62.42% from 76.3%. Indiagames' original shareholders and management, including its founder Vishal Gondal, will continue to hold a 19.4% stake in the company.
"The strategic investments are beneficial to all parties," said Wang Lei Lei, TOM Online Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. "I have confidence Cisco and Macromedia will bring significant value to Indiagames going forward given their strength and leading position in their respective business areas."
"I am delighted to have Cisco and Macromedia as investors in Indiagames," said Gondal, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Indiagames. "We now have Chinese, Indian and American investors, all leaders in their respective verticals. This combination is really very unique and will surely help accelerate our global growth plans, keeping us on the cutting edge of mobile, broadband and Internet technology. "
Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, is an innovator in Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies and works closely with major telecom and wireless carriers around the world. Macromedia is a major independent software company whose Flash technology is viewed as one of the hottest wireless applications.
The Directors of Indiagames envision synergy coming from better visibility to future technology developments related to Internet and wireless applications, the investors' existing client network and relationships globally, and their marketing expertise and resources. Indiagames will also publish and support all its content on the Macromedia Flash Lite(TM) platform which is already having a big share in Japan and is expanding worldwide.
The global wireless games market is expected to grow 50% per year in the next three years, reaching US$8.4 billion in 2008, according to industry estimates. Indiagames, the owner of one of the largest wireless content development facilities in the world with more than 200 highly experienced professionals, is well placed to benefit from that growth.
Founded in 1999, the company has distinguished itself as a high quality and creative games developer and now counts top tier Hollywood studios, handset manufacturers, and more than 100 distribution channels among its partners around the world, including Orange, Verizon, Sprint, Singtel, Airtel and Vodafone.
A global publisher with a strong reputation and track record, the company also has successfully established diversified revenue streams from mobile games publishing and third-party development. Indiagames has been profitable for the past two years.
About TOM Online Inc.
TOM Online Inc. (Nasdaq: TOMO; HK GEM stock code: 8282) is a leading wireless Internet company in China providing value-added multimedia products and services. A premier online brand in China targeting the young and trendy demographic, the company's primary business activities include wireless Internet services and online advertising. The company offers an array of products such as SMS, MMS, WAP, wireless interactive voice response services, content channels, search and classified information, free and fee-based advanced email and online games. As of December 31, 2004, TOM Online is the only portal in China that enjoyed a top three ranking in every wireless Internet service segment.
TOM Online is a subsidiary of TOM Group Limited ("TOM Group"), one of the leading Chinese language media groups in the Greater China region. TOM Group's diverse operations span five media sectors: the Internet (through TOM Online Inc.), outdoor (through TOM Outdoor Media Group), publishing, sports and TV & entertainment.
Indiagames, founded by Vishal Gondal, the current CEO, in 1999, has quickly grown to become one of the global leaders in mobile games publishing business. With over 200 professionals based in Mumbai and an office in Hollywood, Indiagames is primarily engaged in publishing and developing games across various platforms like the Internet, PC, broadband, mobile phones, PDAs, handheld gaming devices and consoles. Indiagames has a leading edge in wireless games in various formats like Java(TM), BREW(TM), I-Mode(TM), Flash Lite(TM) and Symbian(TM). As the No.1 gaming developer and publisher in India, Indiagames controls a 60% share in India's game-related wireless value-added services market.
Indiagames was the first to launch mobile games in India in Feb 2003. It has established partnerships with all major mobile operators in India and over 100 channel partners globally. Major global distribution channels include Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Verizon, Sprint, Singtel, Airtel, Tata, China Mobile, Optus, Hutch, Amena, Telefonica, O2 and Wind. Although based in India, the bulk of its sales this year came from Europe, Asia Pacific, United States, Middle East and South Africa.
Indiagames is among the first to obtain branded licenses for mobile products with the launch of one of its best selling mobile games, Spider- Man(TM) Classic, in 2003. In the past 12 months Indiagames has licensed several key brands including Bruce Lee(TM), Predator(TM), Buffy The Vampire Slayer(TM), The Mummy(TM), Scorpion King(TM), Jurassic Park(TM) 1, Jurassic Park(TM) 2, Jurassic Park(TM) 3, Garfield(TM), The Day After Tomorrow(TM), Spy Kids(TM), Indian Idol, Singapore Idol, Malaysian Idol, Indonesian Idol and Phantom(TM). Information about Indiagames can be found at http://www.indiagames.com/ .
About Macromedia, Inc.
Macromedia, Inc. is an independent software company providing software that empowers designers, developers and business users to create and deliver effective user experiences on the Internet, fixed media and wireless and digital devices. The Company's integrated family of technologies enables the development of Internet solutions, including Websites, rich media content and Internet applications across multiple platforms and devices. Macromedia serves three markets: the Designer and Developer, the Business User and the Consumer. Information about Macromedia can be found at http://www.macromedia.com/ .
The Press Release of TOM Online Inc. (the "Company"), contain statements that may be viewed as "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual performance, financial condition or results of operations of the Company to be materially different from any future performance, financial condition or results of operations implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements that are not historical fact relating to the financial performance and business operations of the Company, the expected benefit of any acquisition, the future prospects of and our ability to integrate the acquired business, the continued growth of the telecommunications industry in China, the development of the regulatory environment, and the Company's latest product offerings and the Company's ability to successfully execute its business strategies and plans, including its ability to expand its market share and revenue through acquisitions.
Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events and are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from information contained in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including, without limitation, any changes in our relationships with telecommunication operators in China, the effect of competition on the demand for the price of our services, changes in customer demand and usage preference for our products and services, changes in the regulatory policies of the Ministry of Information Industry and other relevant government authorities, any changes in telecommunications and related technology and applications based on such technology, and changes in political, economic, legal and social conditions in China, including the Chinese government's policies with respect to economic growth, foreign exchange, foreign investment and entry by foreign companies into China's telecommunications market. Please also see the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's registration statement on Form F-1 (File No. 333- 112800), as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Rico Ngai, Corporate Communications (International)
TOM Online Inc.
Tel: +86 (10) 6528-3399 Ext 6940
Mobile: +86 139-118-95354
Rajiv Shankar (Indiagames)
Tel: +91 (22) 2445-6116
Mobile: +91 9820-145-165
TOM Online Inc.
CONTACT: Rico Ngai, Corporate Communications - International, TOM OnlineInc., +86-10-6528-3399, Ext. 6940, Mobile - +86-139-118-95354,firstname.lastname@example.org; Rajiv Shankar - Indiagames, India Relations,+91-22-2445-6116, Mobile - +91-9820-145-165, email@example.com
Web site: http://www.tom.com/http://www.indiagames.com/
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