* PopCap has not decided which exchange to handle IPO
* PopCap could seek listing as early as November
* Social gaming, social media firms to lead next wave of
(Adds quotes, background)
By Ruby Lian and Melanie Lee
SHANGHAI, May 18 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. [ID:nL4E7GH1KA]
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)