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Infogrames/Atari Sells Off Distribution Business

French publisher and Atari owner Infogrames is selling its 66% stake in distribution business Distribution Partners to Namco Bandai, as it accelerates its plans to become a primarily online publisher.
French publisher and Atari owner Infogrames has announced that it is to sell its 66 percent stake in sales, marketing and retail distribution business Distribution Partners to Namco Bandai. The business was established as a joint venture with Namco Bandai, many of whose products Infogrames has traditionally distributed in Europe. Distribution Partners covers Europe, Asia and Australasia and is valued at €60 million. Infogrames describes the move as accelerating its “transformation into a content-led online game company”. The publisher intends to use the funds from the sale to invest in game development, studio and publishing operations – both internally and externally. Other claimed benefits from the sale are a reduction in working capital requirements for distribution operations, with a five-year deal still giving the company access to Distribution Partner’s distribution network. "This announcement is the culmination of our strategic relationship with Namco Bandai Games Europe who have proven to be an outstanding partner in creating the Distribution Partners business,” said Infogrames CEO David Gardner. “The exercise of the put option will now allow Atari to focus its financial resources and creative energy exclusively on developing and publishing online-enabled games, shifting our operations towards servicing recurring revenues and a higher-margin online business model while still benefiting from access to Distribution Partners strong international distribution network."

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