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Glu Mobile files for $92m IPO

Eyes up European expansion

Top three mobile application threats

Mobile phone games publisher Glu Mobile has filed for an IPO on the Nasdaq; looking to raise up to $92m in the new year. The money will be used to pay off $12m of current debt, with the rest funding European expansion.

Glu purchased UK publisher iFone in March this year for $23.5m, and has been attracting attention as a possible acquisition target for companies looking to expand into mobile gaming. The interest is despite it losing $17.9m in 2005, and over $10m in the first nine months of 2006 - but these days it's not about revenue but market share.

There is a consensus in the industry that mobile gaming is about to explode, and that the revenue potential is largely unrealised. According to a recent report from Gfk, 4.5 per cent of UK mobile users download a game in a typical month, which is the highest in Europe but still seen as an opportunity for expansion rather than evidence of lacking consumer interest.

In such a climate, an IPO from Glu Mobile should have little difficultly raising funds and expanding into the mature European market, where it can find out if the majority of consumers really want games on the go. ®

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