French vidgamer nabs GT Interactive

Infogrames continues to grow with $135 mil deal

Vidgame player Infogrames Entertainment said Monday it has acquired competitor GT Interactive Software for $135 million.

Infogrames, based in Lyon, France, said it sees the purchase as a way to broaden its efforts in the North American marketplace, and grow its library with other action titles and games based on Hollywood properties.

It acquired Accolade in June for $60 million to create Infogrames North America.

Infogrames already produces vidgames for the PlayStation and Nintendo console markets including “Mission: Impossible,” “Looney Tunes” and “Deer Hunter.”

GT Interactive’s bestsellers include “Driver,” “Deer Hunter,” “Blues Clues” and “Abe’s Odyssey.”

Both companies plan to explore new distribution and marketing opportunities once the merger is completed sometime next year.

“This transaction demonstrates our commitment to making Infogrames the No. 1 player in this market,” said Infogrames founder and chairman Bruno Bonnel. “In the past two years, we have demonstrated our ability to purchase and turn around such companies as Ocean in the U.K., and Philips Media’s European assets. Similarly, I am confident that Infogrames can drive GTIS back to profitability.”

In another move, Pierre Sisman has been tapped to the new post of prexy of Infogrames’ European operations. He was executive veep of the Walt Disney Co. Europe.

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