News Corp.’s Shine Group Acquires U.K. Social-Gaming Company Bossa Studios
Elisabeth Murdoch’s television- production company Shine Group Ltd. is aiming to capitalize on Facebook Inc.’s popular gaming platform with its first digital acquisition, London-based startup Bossa Studios.
Shine, a unit of News Corp. (NWSA), announced the purchase of Bossa in an e-mailed statement today. Patrick Keegan, a spokesman for Shine, declined to disclose terms of the deal.
Bossa launched its debut title, Monstermind, on Facebook today. Players design and build virtual cities that they defend against monsters. The game is a faster-paced take on Zynga Inc. titles such as FarmVille or CityVille, and Shine plans to make money by charging players for special elements, such as artillery or defenses, through Facebook’s credit system.
“As a global content company, we are committed to producing exceptional experiences across multiple platforms,” Murdoch said in the statement. “We have long identified social gaming as a critical component to this strategy.”
Founded in October 2010, Bossa’s 20-person team will work to cross-promote Shine’s television properties, which include “MasterChef” and “The Biggest Loser.”
News Corp. (NWS), controlled by Elisabeth’s father, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, agreed to acquire Shine in February for 415 million pounds ($673 million). The purchase prompted a group of News Corp. shareholders led by Amalgamated Bank of New York to sue the company over the acquisition, alleging that nepotism drove the deal.
Elisabeth Murdoch and New York-based News Corp. agreed in August to delay plans for her to join the company’s board.
News Corp. rose 59 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $16.96 on the Nasdaq Stock Market at 4 p.m. New York time.
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