Games firm nets pounds 10m bonus in placing

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The Independent Online
TRADING IN online computer games company gameplay.com starts on the Alternative Investment Market this morning, in Britain's latest Internet flotation. The company has raised pounds 31m, up from an initial pounds 21m because of the strength of demand for its shares, and is valued at around pounds 54m at its placing price of 135p.

The placing accounts for 57.9 per cent of the share capital, and the company's executive directors hold 29.9 per cent. gameplay.com has been created through the acquisition of a leading UK direct-to-home games supplier and Wireplay, a games business in BT's internet and multimedia division with 100,000 registered users. Wireplay has pioneered multi-player on- line games in the UK.

The new company will be supplied network services by BT. It has also signed agreements with the Future Network for the sale of games to visitors to the gameplay.com website and with Open Interactive, the television venture owned by BSkyB, BT, HSBC and Matsushita, for the development and marketing of a gameplay.com interactive digital television channel.

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