Gamer Jamdat files for $86 mil IPO

New funds to be used for general purposes, acquisitions

HOLLYWOOD — Wireless gaming company Jamdat Mobile has filed for an $86 million initial public offering, betting that growing investor interest in videogames will extend to the cell phone space.

L.A.-based firm licenses entertainment and sports content, including material related to “The Lord of the Rings” films and skateboarder Tony Hawk. Its top sellers so far, though, have been simple titles such as bowling and solitaire; the former generated 25% of its revenue last year.

In its SEC filing last Friday, Jamdat didn’t indicate how many shares will be issued and at what value, only that the total will be $86.25 million. Company said the new funds will be used for general corporate purposes and also for the acquisition of companies and technologies to expand its business.

Jamdat execs declined to comment on the decision to go public, beyond what was said in the SEC registration statement.

The wireless vidgame sector has grown significantly in recent years. In contrast to the young, male-skewed industry of games for consoles like PlayStation, so-called casual games for cell phones typically draw an older and more female demo.

First to go public

Move will make Jamdat the first major wireless game publisher to go public. Highly competitive space has drawn the interest of both other technology companies and major studios. Disney and Sony have active mobile-content initiatives and were named by Jamdat among its top competitors.

As part of the filing, Jamdat revealed its financial performance since its 2000 founding. Company generated $13.5 million in revenue and had a net loss of $7.1 million in 2003, but is on track to do significantly better this year. In the first quarter it generated a slight profit of $738,000 on revenue of $7 million. Jamdat currently has $9.8 million in cash and equivalents on hand.

IPO is being handled by Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and UBS. Jamdat plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol JMDT.

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