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"Done Deal" – DeNA To Announce Ngmoco Acquisition Very Soon (Confirmed)

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An update to our post last week on Japan’s DeNA mulling over an acquisition of San Francisco based social gaming startup ngmoco. The deal is supposedly done and will be announced shortly, possibly on Tuesday.

Update: and there we go. Up to $400 million in cash and stock it is ($300 million in cash and stock, plus a $100 million earnout).

The price we reported, $400 million or so, is in the ballpark, says a new source. And part of the reason ngmoco, with revenues in the $30 million range, can command such a high price is the relative strength of the yen v. the dollar. In 2007 the dollar was hovering in the 120 yen range. Today it’s worth just 81ish.

That makes buying a U.S. company a third less expensive for a Japanese company. And DeNA is worth more than $4 billion, making purchases of this size relatively trivial. Just a year ago their market cap was 2/3 less.

That means Zynga, which shares a board member with ngmoco and would probably love to acquire them, couldn’t even field an offer in the same neighborhood as DeNA.

This latest information is coming second hand from a trusted source who heard it directly from a ngmoco executive. We still haven’t heard anything officially from ngmoco at all.

Press release:

DeNA to Acquire ngmoco:)

The Acquisition Creates World’s Largest Mobile Social Games Platform Company

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DeNA today announces it is acquiring ngmoco, Inc., for up to US$400 million in cash and securities, creating the world’s largest mobile social games platform company.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with DeNA, a company that we have admired and aspired to”
ngmoco’s shareholders and employees will receive US$300 million in cash and securities and are entitled to additional consideration, up to a maximum of US$100 million, contingent upon the achievement of certain performance milestones through Dec. 31, 2011.

“In ngmoco and its team we see a lot of the same talent and dynamic traction that we have in the Japanese market, making the merger a perfect fit for us,” said Tomoko Namba, founder and CEO, DeNA. “This acquisition cements DeNA’s leadership position in the U.S. We’re building the largest mobile social gaming platform in the world and populating it with incredible games and services.”

Headquartered in San Francisco, and with studios in New York and Portland, ngmoco was founded in 2008 by games industry veterans Neil Young, Bob Stevenson, Alan Yu and Joe Keene. ngmoco’s games are played more than 50 million minutes a day and have been downloaded more than 60 million times on Apple’s iOS devices, resulting in 20 top 10 applications. The company’s Plus+ social network has over 13.5 million registered users, with more than 50 million friend connections and has been installed more than 86 million times. In September, ngmoco announced its commitment to the Android platform with games and services arriving in the fourth quarter.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with DeNA, a company that we have admired and aspired to,” said Neil Young, founder and CEO, ngmoco. “The opportunity to be a part of creating the number one social mobile game platform company and to benefit from the unique learning and knowledge that DeNA possesses is an amazing way to accelerate our vision for gaming.”

As a wholly owned subsidiary, ngmoco will be responsible for bringing DeNA’s “X-Device X-Border” strategy to Western markets by making DeNA’s Mobage a global service and platform for games. A key focus for the company is the creation of a unified open developer platform that combines ngmoco’s state of the art smartphone technology framework with DeNA’s pioneering Mobage Open SDK. The unified Mobage Smartphone Platform will allow developers to target both iOS & Android and access both Western and Japanese customers.

A developer preview of the new global gaming platform will take place in December with further details to be announced.

About DeNA

DeNA was founded in 1999 by Tomoko Namba and has become one of the world’s most successful mobile Internet companies with games and community products that reach 100 million consumers spanning mobile and PC platforms. The company’s ‘DNA’ is comprised of great people that share an unrivaled passion for engaging entertainment. We invite big dreamers and game-changers to learn more about us at http://www.denaglobal.com.

About ngmoco

Headquartered in San Francisco, ngmoco was founded in 2008 by games industry veterans committed to the new mobile landscape opened up by Apple’s iPhone. ngmoco creates and publishes games for the iPhone and beyond in collaboration with the best and brightest game makers in the world. Founded by Neil Young, Bob Stevenson, Alan Yu and Joe Keene, the company’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Maples Investments/FloodGate, Norwest Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners & Google Ventures. To witness the lives and minds of the ngmoco team at work on the future of iPhone and iPod touch games, visit http://www.ngmoco.com.

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