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Shanda Games going back to private ownership

Eliot Lefebvre

If you've been following development on Eligium, you're probably at least passingly familiar with the name Shanda Games. You'd be more familiar with it in China, since the company also operates a variety of games from other markets, including Aion, MapleStory, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. And after having a record-breaking quarter, the company is moving in the opposite direction of what you might expect from a successful company: It's going private. The requisite stocks were purchased by a single family, so the company moving out of the public market.

All shares will be jointly purchased by a parent company headed by Shanda's CEO, Shanda's COO (the CEO's son), and the company director (the CEO's wife). A $180 million loan was taken out to ensure that the stocks could be traded, with the purchasers buying shares at a higher price to help ensure the transfer. The board of directors has already approved this move, which means that it should go through without a hitch before the first quarter of 2012.

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