U.K.'s Galleon grabs Hong Kong's Phoenix

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LONDON -- U.K.-listed entertainment group Galleon Holdings made its first foray in to the Chinese market Tuesday, announcing the acquisition of Hong Kong-based mobile and interactive media specialist Phoenix Investment in an all-paper deal potentially valued at £5.5 million ($11.3 million), subject to performance targets.

Galleon, the intellectual property venture behind such brands as "Skunk Fu!" and "Hoo Ha House," will work with Phoenix to exploit broadcaster relationships across South East Asia and provide interactive services and new entertainment properties.

Phoenix already has contracts to provide interactive television services to broadcasters in China and South East Asia including Hunan ETV, Hunan Satellite, Guangdong Sports Channel and Media Prima. Headquartered in China, it also has offices in Malaysia.

Galleon raised £8 million ($16.4 million) on the secondary Alternative Investment Market to finance the acquisition, through a rights issue that generated 28 million new shares. CEO Stephen Green said the move was part of its strategy to tap the emerging Asian digital markets.

"Our strategy for cross-platform media entertainment has been to focus on the emerging markets, with their huge audiences and high mobile phone penetration," Green said. "With Phoenix, Galleon has a pipeline straight into China and Asia giving our cross-platform entertainment content access to hundreds of millions of viewers at any one time. The sheer size of the audiences in China alone creates whole new scale-based business models, and the Phoenix team has the experience, network and relationships to maximize these opportunities going forward."
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