Monstermob in Chinese deal

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Monstermob, provider of mobile phone games and ringtones, secured a foothold in the lucrative Chinese telecommunications market on Monday when it agreed to buy ATOP Century.

The transaction is the largest by the UK-based company, which operates in 19 countries and has more than 10m monthly subscribers.

Monstermob has built a particularly strong presence in Asia, and recently acquired Upper Mobile in the Philippines and Unrealmind Interactive in Malaysia.

Based on ATOP’s current growth rate, Monstermob expects the total price for the company to be about $100m.

China , however, is considered the jewel in the crown. It already the world’s largest mobile telecoms market, with an estimated 345m users as of June this year, and is growing fast. “It is a transformational deal,” said Martin Higginson, chief executive of Monstermob.

“The growth potential in China is phenomenal.”

ATOP - which was founded in 2003 by by Yongqiang Qian, 34, a 34-year-old a Yale MBA- graduate, - has seen rapid growth in its two years of existence. It is now the third largest independent provider of mobile content for China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile operator.who Mr Qian who holds 45 per cent of ATOP stock, is to stay on as chief executive for at least two years. He will own about 5 per cent of the enlarged Monstermob group after the transaction.

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