January 22, 2020 / 7:53 AM / 6 months ago

Tencent bids $148 million for online games maker Funcom

FILE PHOTO: People visit Tencent's booth at the World 5G Exhibition in Beijing, China November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

OSLO (Reuters) - China’s Tencent Holdings launched a 1.33 billion Norwegian crown ($148 million) bid for computer games maker Funcom on Wednesday, sending the Oslo-listed firm’s shares sharply higher.

The board and management of Funcom unanimously supported the all-cash bid of 17 crowns per share, a 27% premium to Tuesday’s closing price of 13.35 crowns, the companies said in a joint statement.

Funcom’s shares were up 26.2% at 16.85 crowns by 0817 GMT.

Based in the Netherlands, Funcom is the developer of a range of computer games that are played online or on other platforms, including adaptations of the Conan the Barbarian franchise.

Tencent, itself a major distributor of online games, announced last September it had taken a 29% stake in Funcom, making it the largest owner.

“Funcom has a strong track record in developing new titles with long lifespans,” said Tencent Senior Vice-President Steven Ma.

Funcom’s management and staff will remain unchanged following the planned acquisition, the companies said.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Gwladys Fouche and Jason Neely

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