China's second biggest pure play online game operator The9 files IPO
From Pacific Epoch:
"China's second biggest pure play online game operator The9 filed an F-1 with the US SEC on Friday, declaring its plans to raise up to US$107,812,500 via the issue of 6,250,000 American Depository Shares. ... The9 has applied to trade under the Nasdaq ticker 'NCTY'. "
"The9 is expected to launch operations of Blizzard's World of Warcraft in the first quarter of 2005."
"Assuming the offering prices at $14 per ADS, the mid-point of the expect range, the company would have an initial market capitalization of about $325.9 million, according to information available in the prospectus.
The company earned $1.6 million on revenue of $2.3 million for the first six month of 2004, according to the prospectus." Read more
(Older) article from Paul Waide (Pacific Epoch): Why you may want to look inside at The9.
"Korea's Webzen, Vivendi Universal's Blizzard, local portal Sohu—rumored to partnering with The9 on Blizzard's World of Warcraft—and even Intel might get a boost if The9 proves that its built-for-speed, operator-only model is superior to Shanda's "own the value chain" model."
"WoW could take The9's daily revenues from its current 2 million yuan ($240,000) to over 4 million yuan. ... The9 came out on top of a bidding war for WoW in late 2003 (the price it paid for the rights to operate WoW in China was not disclosed, but scuttlebutt has the number as high as $10 million). The massively multiplayer online version of gaming classic Warcraft, which had an estimated 9 million players in China, is expected to be a giant cash cow for the operating company."
"Today there are approximately 15 million broadband subscribers in China, and that figure should top 20 million by year-end. A dearth of affordable entertainment alternatives, the possibility of a revalued yuan, and a focus lacking at The9's major competitors could swing investor support in its favor." Read more