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SAC Capital Billionaire Cohen Lifts Zynga Stake to 5.3%

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Steven A. Cohen, who leads SAC Capital Advisors LP, increased his stake in casual video-game publisher Zynga Inc. to 5.3 percent.

Cohen controls 38.7 million shares, according to a regulatory filing yesterday, a holding valued at almost $173 million based on market prices. As of year-end, SAC reported a 2.2 percent stake in Zynga, the San Francisco-based maker of games including FarmVille.

Shares of Zynga have retreated by about two-thirds in two years as the company, once a dominant force on Facebook, failed to respond to a market shift toward games played on smartphones. Under New Chief Executive Officer Don Mattrick, Zynga has released mobile versions of Farmville and Zynga Poker.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for SAC at Sard Verbinnen & Co., declined to comment.

Zynga fell 1.1 percent $4.42 at the close in New York. The shares have advanced 16 percent this year. The holding is the among the largest for Stamford, Connecticut-based SAC Capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

According to the filing, 1.74 million shares are held by Sigma Capital Management LLC. Call options held by Sigma Capital Associates account for 1.5 million of the shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Palazzo in Los Angeles at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Rob Golum

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