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Chinese online gamer Shanda expands

It nabs Hurray's recorded music and wireless services biz

Chinese online gamer Shanda Interactive has swooped to buy the recorded music and wireless value-added services business of the Hurray Holding Co. for $36.9 million in cash, the companies said in a statement.

Under the deal, Hurray will purchase Shanda’s online audio business in exchange for 415.4 million newly issued ordinary shares of the Chinese mobile content firm.

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

Hurray is involved in many areas of the music biz, distributing ring-tones, ringback-tones and other wireless value-added services to cell phone 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.

The company will get about $11 million after excluding payment for the cash balances in the businesses being transferred to Shanda.

Hurray has had its suitors over the years. In November 2007, Hurray signed a $160 million deal to merge with Chinese media group Enlight, which would have created one of China’s largest domestic entertainment content and distribution companies. The deal was called off due to “strategic differences” between the two boards.

Shanda and Hurray expect the transaction to close in the third quarter.

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