BREAKING: RealNetworks To Spin Off Its Game Business; May Do An IPO Of The New Company

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Here's a shocker: RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) is finally doing the rationalization of its business lines: it will separate its global casual games business into an independent company and distribute shares of the newly created games company to its shareholders, it said. RealNetworks may precede the spin off with an IPO and sale of up to 20 percent of the shares of the new games company.

As for the size of the games business for the company: In Q108, RealNetworks' games business revenue rose 33 percent fromQ107 to $31.8 million. For 2007, games revenue was $108.5 million, up 26 percent over 2006. It has been buying online and mobile gaming firms consistently over the last two years.

The rationale: It result in two "more flexible and focused companies. In addition, the separation will provide the games business with an industry-specific currency for future acquisitions and enhance its ability to attract and retain the best talent in the industry."

More to come

By Rafat Ali