PopCap Games ready to be listed as early as Nov: CEO

SHANGHAI Wed May 18, 2011 2:18am EDT

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - PopCap Games Inc, the maker of popular smartphone and Facebook games "Bejeweled" and "Plants vs Zombies," could list as early as November, it chief executive David Roberts said on Wednesday.

"We are very much in the process of preparing a listing. We expect to be ready to be listed as early as November this year," Roberts told reporters at a news conference.

"Whether we go, will depend on the market...we don't want to rush into it," Roberts added.

Roberts said in April the company had spoken to both Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange but a Nasdaq listing was more likely. It also gave "test road shows" to potential institutional investors to gauge the viability of the IPO.

The company is also seeking partners to develop more casual game projects and has no intention to develop more complex games, Roberts said.

"We have got many requests (from Chinese companies to ask for cooperation), we will try to find the best way to expand our brand," Roberts said.

PopCap announced on Wednesday a tie-up with Chinese social-networking site Renren Inc to launch their games in China. China, which has more than 477 million Internet users, has a booming online games industry with millions of young people thronging Internet cafes to play games.

However, the popularity of online games has not escaped the keen eye of Chinese censors. A few years ago, a popular game on a Chinese social-networking site resembling Facebook's farming game, Farmville, had to pull the plug on a function allowing users to 'steal' crops because the Ministry of Culture objected to such behavior.

PopCap's rival Zynga is also eyeing an IPO. The debut of companies like Twitter, Groupon and Zynga will be closely watched as investors bet on the growth of social media.

Professional social-networking site LinkedIn said on Tuesday it expects to raise 30 percent more than it had forecast in its initial public offering, in a sign of the strength of investor appetite for social networking companies.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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