Games-maker pays $46.2 million for music firm

After months of flirting with a host of different big name suitors, Chinese ringtone and music provider Hurray Holding has agreed to sell a majority stake to online games maker Shanda Interactive Ent. in a deal valued at $46.2 million.

Shanda will pay $4 per American depositary share, a 25% premium on Hurray’s closing price on Friday, for a 51% stake in the company. The shares hit $0.93 earlier this year but have been driven higher on speculation about a possible takeover. The Hurray board unanimously recommended the offer to its shareholders.

A Chinese investor group tried last month to buy a majority stake in Hooray with a view to turning it into a more broadly based media group, but the bid did not receive the support of Hooray’s board.

In November 2007, Hooray signed a $160 million deal to merge with Chinese media group Enlight, which would have created one of the largest domestic entertainment content and distribution companies in China, but was called off over “strategic differences” between the two boards.

Nasdaq-listed Hurray is involved in many areas of the music biz, distributing ring-tones, ringback-tones, and true-tones and wireless value-added services to cellphone users in China. It also organizes concerts, artist development, music production and offline distribution and other music events in China through its affiliated music companies.

Shanda, which is also listed on Nasdaq, is China’s leading interactive gamers, with multi-player online role-playing games, casual online games in China, online chess and board games, network PC games plus cartoons, literature and music. It also has an e-commerce section.

“We respect the work by Hurray’s board and management and their efforts in defining Hurray’s strategies and direction and believe that Shanda’s user base, resources and platform will facilitate the continued execution of these strategies,” Chen Tianqao, chairman of Shanda, said in a statement.

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