China’s Giant Interactive Group said it has completed a $3 billion transaction to take the company private.
Shanghai-based Giant is one of China’s biggest online game companies with titles like ZT Online, Elsword, and Allods Online. Under a deal which was approved by shareholders on July 14, Giant Interactive Group merged with Giant Merger Ltd. Last year, Giant reported a $204 million profit on revenue of $383.5 million.
Giant was founded by Shi Yuzhu in 2001 to focus on massively multiplayer online games played on personal computers, and it quickly grew to one of China’s largest companies in that field. Giant was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007, but it had second thoughts and began preparing to go private late last year.
Lisa Cosmas Hanson, analyst and managing partner at Chinese market researcher Niko Partners, said that Giant is the latest of three companies to go private. Shanda Games and Focus Media have also left the public markets. Giant has plenty of cash and evidently believes it can make PC and mobile games without the help of stockholders.
Giant will stop trading shares on the New York Stock Exchange after today. The company’s corporate headquarters (pictured below) is very unusual and was created by architectural firm Morphosis.