Zgodba o mačku Tomu iz Ljubljane, prodanemu za milijardo dolarjev

    Nekaj odlomkov iz daljšega članka v Bloomberg Businessweek o prodaji podjetja Outfit7 Kitajcem: Why Did a Chinese Peroxide Company Pay $1 Billion for a Talking Cat? – Bloomberg.

    “Samo and Iza Login were Slovenian high school sweethearts who studied computer science in college and then decided, in 2009, to get into the business of apps. Steve Jobs had introduced the Apple App Store the year before, and it was easy to believe that an overnight fortune was just an eccentric idea away. With $250,000 they’d saved while working for local IT companies, the Logins—who legally changed their surname to sound techy—started a company called Outfit7. Alongside six friends, they set up an office in the capital, Ljubljana. …

    Then, after six months of misfires, the Logins built a children’s game in which an animated cat, Talking Tom, repeats in a high-pitched helium squeak whatever is spoken into an iPhone’s microphone. If a user feeds Tom hot peppers, pets him under his chin, or flicks his stomach, he responds with belches, purrs, and groans. Samo says he was optimistic that kids would love it, but acknowledges that “the whole team had some doubts.” One feature, added later, requires Tom to make regular stops in the bathroom, where he ceremoniously relieves himself into the toilet. …

    This, apparently, was what users were looking for. Talking Tom Cat was an instant hit, launching a franchise whose titles have reached No. 1 in more than 100 countries on the App Store. … Playing Talking Tom triggers an onslaught of advertising and in-game purchase offers, and Outfit7 earns more than $100 million a year. In early 2016 the Logins decided to cash out, hiring Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find the most lucrative deal. … The industrialists were willing to match the Logins’ asking price of $1 billion and let their team maintain autonomy. Samo and Iza signed away their company—having never taken money from outside investors, their stake was worth about $600 million. …

    In May the Logins came to London. Approaching a vegan restaurant, Iza is hard to miss in a bright pink coat and Dolce & Gabbana shoes decorated with yellow floral jewels. The two smile a lot, laugh at each other’s jokes, and slip into Slovene when they don’t want a reporter to understand what they’re saying.

    Over spinach-coconut soup and eggplant tagine, Samo explains that Outfit7 was largely a means to an end. The two had a seven-year plan to build a business and cash out so they could focus on their concern about food scarcity. They could have put the plan on hold and continued expanding in hopes of getting an even bigger payday down the line, but they aren’t sentimental about saying goodbye to Talking Tom. “If we kept running the company, then it would have been a failure,” Samo says. “The greed would have won.”” (vir: Why Did a Chinese Peroxide Company Pay $1 Billion for a Talking Cat? – Bloomberg)

    1 komentar

    1. Zanimiv izbor, precej v stilu pogrošnih medijskih rubrik za promocijo podjetništva ali lifestyle. Predvsem navedeno nima prav veliko zveze z naslovom članka. Menim, da je prispevek zanimiv in vreden branja predvsem v tistih delih, ki pojasnjujejo logiko te kupčije. Lahko je tudi snov za razmišljanje o nedavni prodaji Fotone in o možnosti, da je dejanska finančna slika kitajskega kupca podobna Agrokorjevi.

      “Even by the opaque standards of Chinese mergers and acquisitions, the deal was a head-scratcher. It’s hard to see the synergies between a maker of chemical solvents and a digital cat perched over a toilet. And curiously, the buyer, which had recently been renamed Zhejiang Jinke Entertainment Culture Co., had revenue of only $133 million in 2016, according to Bloomberg data pulled from regulatory filings, and its gross profit was $55 million. Jinke won’t say where the money to buy Outfit7 came from.”

      “A new twist has come in a recent pair of additional Jinke filings. In one, Jinke says the Outfit7 deal is still being finalized with the United Luck consortium, a sign it may not yet have government approval. (Possibly as a result, Jinke shares are down more than 27 percent since January.) In the second, Jinke says that, even though a deal hasn’t been completed, it created a subsidiary called Zhejiang Jinke Tom Cat Network Technology Co. that will share revenue and profit from Outfit7 with United Luck. A person involved in the transaction says the Outfit7 acquisition is being bankrolled by a group of Chinese individuals, banks, pension funds, and other investors, who may seek to sell the Talking Tom maker yet again after getting the business to grow in China.”

      “Talking Tom is not alone. There’s been a recent flurry of oddball pairings between Chinese industrial interests and Western entertainment companies. A real estate magnate in Beijing bought Legendary Entertainment, the movie studio that made the Dark Knight trilogy, for $3.5 billion. A maker of construction materials bought Framestore, the company behind the special effects in the Harry Potter films. Zhejiang Dragon Pipe Manufacturing Co. acquired app developer Entertainment Game Labs. And perhaps strangest of all, Digital Extremes Ltd., which created an alien battle game, and the studio Splash Damage Ltd., which made an offshoot of the Xbox hit Gears of War, were bought by an enormous Chinese poultry processor.”

      Najbolj nazoren pa je povzetek ob robu članka:

      TEN STEPS TO A SALE
      1) Game Co. decides it wants to sell.
      2) Sales of Chinese Poultry Co. are slowing, and with investors demanding new sources of profit, the company decides to diversify. But where? Hey, games are hugely profitable!
      3) Game Co. and Poultry Co. agree on a deal. Problem: Chinese regulators say Poultry Co. can’t just convert its yuan to dollars and cut a check. So here enters …
      4) … an offshore shell company whose hidden investors have access to yuan and foreign capital. The new backers get interest rates of as high as 20 percent or, perhaps, discounted shares in Poultry Co., which are likely to rise when the deal closes.
      5) The shell gives Game Co. $$$.
      6) Game Co. investors rejoice!
      7) The shell takes control of Game Co. while awaiting approval from the Chinese government …
      8) … and after it’s granted, gives control of Game Co. to Poultry Co.
      9) Poultry Co.’s stock goes up.
      10) Chinese investors rejoice!

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