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Fresh Investment Gives Buka Financial Boost

by Rainier on Aug. 3, 2005 @ 8:44 a.m. PDT

Investment company Finam and EBRD North-West and West Russia Regional Venture fund NORUM made an announcement about having made an investment in the development of Buka company. Investment has been made by entering the nominal capital of the holding, Buka shareholder. Combined investor's share in the holding amounts to 52,9%. Buka financial consultant is Ernst and Young company. Amount of transaction totals to several million dollars.

The assets received will be used for the development of "Buka" company, in particular, for publishing of the larger number of games and widening the distribution network, which leads to the larger share of the gaming market.

"Our strategy is two-fold. On the one hand we mean to raise the quality of our own gaming projects and to publish on the Russian territory only the best foreign games. On the other hand our most important goal is to increase the number of "home territories", i.e. territories, where we conduct full publishing cycle (manufacturing, marketing, sales). For example, our representative office was opened in China in year 2004, and we started to actively expand on Chinese market. In the long run we're planning to start working on other developing markets. In 2 or 3 years we plan to occupy no less than 2,5% of Chinese market, which, according to our estimates, amounts to 150-200 million dollars", - said Igor Ustinov, chairman of board of directors, "Buka" company.

"We consider our investment in "Buka" company as one more trend of our development in the direct investment sphere. We assume that by year 2008 "Buka" will become the leading computer game publisher in Russia and will significantly increase its worth. So the withdrawal from the project may happen after 2,5-3,5 years", - said Sergei Oparin, the executive director of IC "FINAM"' investment and banking department.

"Withdrawal mechanics may be various. Holding's stock might be sold to the financial or strategy investors, or stock might be offered to the general public. According to our calculations, after several years "Buka"'s worth might be over 40 million dollars", - declared Alexander Vlasov, investment manager of "NORUM" fund.

"Buka" company is one of the largest and oldest Russian computer games publishers. It publishes Russian projects and localizations of foreign projects. Among the company's partners are the best Russian developers and the largest foreign publishers. "Buka" games are sold in 70 countries of the world and are localized for 15 languages, including Japanese and Chinese.

Company's share on the publishing market (years 2003-2004) constitutes about 12%. Dealers' network encompasses more than 250 cities in all Russian regions. According to the expertise, in year 2005 the amount of the legal Russian computer gaming market will constitute $150-200 million dollars in retail prices. Legal market growth – 30% in a years.

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