Handmark gets its hands on Astraware

One is a leading content provider for the niche smartphone market, the other a leading games developer for the niche smartphone market (Palm, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, etc), now they will become the leading content publisher for the niche but quickly growing smartphone market. Enter the reported acquisition of Astraware by Handmark.

Handmark publishes smartphone versions of e.g. Tetris and Scrabble and also runs the Pocket Express mobile news service. Astraware does the same for Bejewelled, Zuma and Chuzzle but also has a sizable portfolio of generic games and applications. They also have their coding hands in iPod games. As a lot of high-end smartphone stuff is retailed through shops where Handmark has a decent footprint, the two should improve margins on Astraware titles immediately. Presumably their distribution footprints for the remainder (e.g. is Astraware a Microsoft Gold Partner and embeds lots on Windows Mobile devices) also provide for some synergies.

Unfortunately nothing was reported on deal terms but, on the merits, this makes sense. Good luck, guys!


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