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The international ambitions of Australian mobile social networking service provider MOKO.mobi have ramped up with the acquisition of US based Cellfish Media for USD$5.5m.

The purchase will give MOKO access to more than 500,000 paid US mobile subscribers and follows the company’s acquisition in January of UK based EyeVibe. Following the transaction, Cellfish will hold an approximate 17% interest in Moko.

Headquartered in New York, Cellfish is a publisher and distributor of mobile content and applications, with operations in New York, Paris, Dusseldorf and Montreal. MOKO started life as Loop Mobile in 2004 and was acquired by Australia’s first online retail sex shop AdultShop.com. It subsequently launched a separate IPO in 2007 and re-branded as MOKO.mobi.

The company jumped on social networking via mobile early and has 4.9 million registered users and says it works with over 22 global carrier partners. MOKO.mobi is currently escalating its international footprint in line with plans to move to America and list on NASDAQ.

Recently MOKO secured a new carrier deployment with Celcom Malaysia and is currently in the process of negotiating new carrier deals in Japan, Russia, UK, USA, Latin America and Greece. ®

Clarification: Moko has requested that we note the current status of the transaction is that Moko has signed a non-binding letter with Cellfish to acquire the US-based mobile community business from Cellfish Media for $5.5 million, subject to due diligence, shareholder approvals and contractual agreements. ®

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