Two private equity firms buy 'slight majority'

Bigpoint ownership changes hands in $350m deal

The majority shareholders of social games giant Bigpoint have sold a large portion of their stock in a deal valued at $350 million.

The transaction is complex and not all information has been disclosed.

In June 2008, General Electric, NBC Universal and private equity firm GMT Communications acquired a 70 per cent controlling share of Bigpoint. That deal was valued at about $100 million.

Now two other private equity firms have acquired a controlling stake from that 70 per cent.

TA Associates and Summit Partners LP – both based in Boston Massachusetts – have obtained a “slight majority” of the company.

According to Jonathan Meeks, a TA Associates managing director in London, some $350 million was paid for the stake.

GMT Communications said it still holds an interest in the group. It is unknown if General Electric and NBC Universal still have equity.

Bigpoint’s customer base has jumped beyond 190 million registered users, from over 120 countries. It is said to have over 700 employees across five offices.

The buyout is the second-largest in the social games space, after Disney’s acquisition of Playdom last year for $563.2 million (plus a possible $200m bonus).

The deal will be sealed if regulatory approval is met.

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