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Playdom Acquired By Disney For Up To $763.2 Million

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Disney has acquired social gaming startup Playdom, confirming our story from last week. The price – $563.2 million plus an earn-out of up to $200 million.

Playdom’s last round of financing valued the company at $345 million, and the company has raised a total of around $76 million.

Press release is below:

THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY TO ACQUIRE LEADING SOCIAL GAME DEVELOPER PLAYDOM

Burbank, California – July 27, 2010—Advancing on its goal of bringing consumers its well-known stories, characters and brands in ever more engaging ways, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Playdom Inc., one of the leading companies in the fast-growing business of online social gaming.

Playdom shareholders will receive total consideration of $563.2 million, subject to certain conditions, and a performance-linked earn-out of up to $200 million.

In just two and a half years of operation, Playdom has established itself as a pacesetter in building popular games for social networks enjoyed by consumers around the globe. Through well-known titles like Social City, Sorority Life, Market Street and Bola, Playdom engages an estimated 42 million active players each month.

By acquiring Playdom, Disney will strengthen its already-robust digital gaming portfolio, acquire a first-rate management team and provide consumers new ways to interact with the company on popular social networks like Facebook and MySpace.

“We see strong growth potential in bringing together Playdom’s talented team and capabilities with our great creative properties, people and world-renowned brands like Disney, ABC, ESPN and Marvel.” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.

“This acquisition furthers our strategy of allocating capital to high-growth businesses that can benefit from our many characters, stories and brands, delivering them in a creatively compelling way to a new generation of fans on the platforms they prefer,” Iger added.

“We are at the start of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way people of all ages play games with their friends across devices, platforms and geographical boundaries,” said Playdom Chief Executive Officer John Pleasants. “Disney is an incredibly forward-thinking company that shares our vision and is the ideal partner to further our mission to bring great entertainment to people around the world.”
Playdom, which has 15 game development studios, will remain headquartered in Mountain View, California. Pleasants will become an Executive Vice President of the Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG) and General Manager of Playdom, reporting to DIMG President Steve Wadsworth.

Disney expects Playdom’s expertise in social gaming software tools, business intelligence and rapid innovation to broadly benefit DIMG, which already has a substantial global presence in online, console and mobile gaming

The transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and certain non-U.S. merger control regulations, is expected to close by the end of Disney’s 2010 fiscal year.

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of about $36 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements relate to a variety of matters, including but not limited to: the operations of the businesses of Disney and Playdom; the timing and consummation of the transaction; the expected benefits of the integration of the two companies; the market for online social gaming and other statements that are not historical fact. These statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Disney regarding future events and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty including uncertainties regarding the business of each company, the receipt or timing of regulatory approvals and continued consumer acceptance of online social gaming.

Disney undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that may cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements are set forth in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Disney for the year ended October 3, 2009 and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Disney.

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