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07 March 2004
Sunday Herald
Merging games firm keen to acquire

The Dundee games developer VIS entertainment is set to hit the acquisition trail once its merger with a California publisher is completed.
Chris van der Kuyl, the chief executive of VIS, revealed to the Sunday Herald that its first target would likely be in Europe. “Pretty quickly we’ll be looking at a couple of other potential deals. As soon as we close this, we’ll start talking to people. We’ll take one bite at a time.”

He added that any acquisitions would revolve around tackling sales and distribution or buying in games. Van der Kuyl also revealed that he will be named president and chief operating officer of the new company. The top chiefs of San Jose-based BAM! Entertainment will retain their posts with Raymond C Musci as chief executive and Tony Williams as vice-chairman.

Although the combined company would have its corporate HQ in California, van der Kuyl will be located in Scotland. The Dundee and Edinburgh studios would remain open retaining 110 staff positions. He said: “If anything, we would be looking to strengthen these as we move forward. The development talent is the key talent being brought to the table.”

BAM! Entertainment annou-nced on February 18 that it had agreed terms to acquire VIS and the separate SOE Development vehicle set up to fund the game State Of Emergency 2. The deal also includes the 50% stake VIS has in a joint venture that has developed an animated virtual horse-racing game. Under the terms, VIS shareholders would receive 9 million BAM! shares and the US company would assume liability for a development loan of up to £3m plus costs. The deal, dependant on BAM! raising $12m and remaining listed on the NASDAQ, could be sealed within 45 days.

Julia Fields

07 March 2004

 



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