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Xurpas planning to hold IPO for celebrity gaming subsidiary

/ 01:10 AM October 08, 2016

Technology firm Xurpas Inc. Friday unveiled a plan to bring its celebrity gaming subsidiary Xeleb Technologies Inc. to public hands.

This developed as the company also entered into a $45-million deal to acquire Singapore-based mobile media advertising firm Art of Click Pte. Ltd, its biggest offshore acquisition to date.

On Xeleb Technologies, the plan is to launch the initial public offering (IPO) within the next 12 months, pitching to investors a play on celebrity content for mobile consumers. The board of Xurpas approved the plan to made a debut on the small, medium and emerging (SME) board of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

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The group is in the process of securing approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the change in the subsidiary’s corporate name from Fluxion Inc. to Xeleb Technologies.

Xurpas owns 67 percent of Xeleb Technologies which, in turn, owns 100 percent of Xeleb Inc., which develops mobile games that ride on the individual brand equity of celebrities.

The remaining 33 percent stake in Xeleb Technologies is owned by Curtis and three other celebrities: Actress/host and ramp model Isabelle Daza, broadcaster Kim Atienza and celebrity chef/entrepreneur Erwan Heussaff.

In a briefing Friday, Xurpas chair and chief executive officer Nix Nolledo said the IPO plan had yet to be finalized. He said the internal target was to proceed within the next 12 months.  Post-IPO, Xurpas intends to keep a controlling stake in Xeleb Technologies.

Xeleb rides on two successful megatrends: The rise of celebrities as a media force and the boom in casual gaming globally. It has developed five celebrity-themed games, one each for Curtis, Daza, Atienza and Heussaff and the fifth based on the persona of singer/actress Sarah Geronimo. The five celebrities have a combined social media reach of 40 million users.

Meanwhile, Xurpas has boosted its mobile consumer division with the acquisition of 100 percent of Art of Click, which created a proprietary, next generation ad optimization platform for advertisers.  The platform supports both client brands and global and regional communication agencies in the development and execution of mobile strategies in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe.

Art of Click generated revenue in fiscal year ending June 2016. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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