ByteDance said to be looking to sell gaming unit Moonton for $5 billion

Asian Tech Press (Nov 21) -- TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. is looking to sell its gaming unit Moonton for no less than $5 billion, a Chinese self-media outlet said in an article on Tuesday.

For this, ByteDance has hired Goldman Sachs as a financial advisor to help find and approach potential buyers, the article said.

It also noted, citing two independent sources, that Savvy Games Group (SGG), the games and esports subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), is one of the potential buyers for the deal.

And the two sides have had at least one round of approaches on the matter so far, but have yet to agree on a purchase price for the deal.

ByteDance is hoping that the purchase price will be at a premium from the $4 billion it paid for the Moonton acquisition in 2021, the article said.

For its part, however, SGG believed that ByteDance's asking price was too high in light of Moonton's current performance.

"Moonton's lackluster performance over the last two years, is one of the reasons why ByteDance has resolved to put it up for sale," the article added.

It pointed out that Moonton's annual profits have remained around $200 million over the past two years, without much change in profitability levels.

Reuters also reported last week that ByteDance was in talks to sell Shanghai Moonton Technology Co. Ltd, but did not mention a specific price.

At the time, ByteDance did not publicly respond to the issue, while Moonton told Chinese media that it had not yet received the news internally.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Shanghai, Moonton has branches in Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong, and is a video game developer with overseas markets as its main source of revenue.

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