Another UK Internet venture is to place its future on the stock market as online gaming company Gameplay.com floats on the alternative investment market (AIM) next Monday.
Gameplay.com was set up in March of this year as a holding company to acquire leading European online gaming community, Wireplay, set up by BT’s Internet and Multimedia division and UK games supplier Interactive Commercial Enterprises.
A spokeswoman for Gameplay.com explained that by bringing the two businesses together the company will create a gaming portal where consumers can read about all the latest games, play them online and then buy them, all in one place.
Gameplay.com has also done deals with The Future Network to provide the content and with Open Interactive to create an gaming shopping channel for its interactive digital TV service.
The company announced its floatation plans two weeks ago when it intended to raise £21 million. Strong demand for shares, however, pushed the company to embark on another process of fundraising to get an extra £10 million to satisfy demand.
The placing price of 22,962,962 Gameplay.com shares is 135 pence each, valuing the company at £53.6 million.
The company said money raised from the float will be used to fund further acquisitions and to rapidly develop expansion in Europe.
The deal will net BT £5.5 million in cash which is to be immediately used to purchase 4,074,074 shares of Gameplay.com.
Online gaming is becoming a major force on the Internet, with the number of players doubling to 3.7 million in the US alone between 1997 to 1998. According to analysts Jupiter Communications, 27 million people will be playing games online by 2002. (see Newswire 17 March 1999)
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