Tencent buys $126 million stake in Kim Kardashian publisher Glu Mobile

The biggest game company in the world invests heavily in the Bay Area mobile game studio that found success with its Hollywood game last year.

Last year Glu Mobile found major success with Kim Kardashian Hollywood on mobile phones, and everybody took notice -- including us. It seems that Tencent, recently named as the biggest game company in the world by revenue, paid attention too.

Today, Glu announced that Tencent has invested $126 million in the company and walked away with 21 million shares -- at $6 a pop. Tencent's Steven Ma joins Glu's board of directors as part of the deal. The purchase gives Tencent a 14.6 percent stake in the company.

Alongside this news, the company also announced it's inked a deal with pop icon Britney Spears to a five-year deal for the development of a mobile game. It also announced its first quarter results today: The company posted a proft of $2.1 million for the quarter.

"Tencent was attracted to Glu due to its five-year growth track record, high-quality entrepreneurial management, and unique approach to methodically building a portfolio of success in the shooter, action-RPG, narrative-RPG, time-management, sports and racing genres," Ma said in a statement.  

Tencent, of course, has also made a number of investments in game companies over the last several years; it owns Riot Games, makers of League of Legends and has a major stake in Unreal Engine company Epic Games, too. It's more recently invested in mobile studio Playdots, Robot Entertainment, and Miniclip.

Though Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi didn't mention Chinese expansion as part of the deal, it seems likely that this will smooth Glu's entry into that market -- which is projected to overtake the U.S. as the biggest games market in the world this year. Kabam took a $120 million investment from Chinese web giant Alibaba last year, and this year announced its pivot toward that market.

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