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Acquisition plans to stop revenue decline at Gree

Global mobile social company Gree is considering making acquisitions outside of its social gaming core business in an attempt to halt a continuing decline in revenue.

According to Bloomberg, the firm is targeting such deals as it heads for a fourth straight quarter of revenue loss.

The company posted a third straight quarter-on-quarter drop in the three months ended September, while analysts predict a year-on-year drop in sales of 13% to Y34.3 billion (€253.6 million/$342.6 million) in the next quarter.

Gree is searching for new sources of growth as the rising use of smartphones is sapping sales of its social games that have been designed to run on feature phones.

“We’ve narrowed down targets. We want to aggressively expand new businesses,” said Gree’s director, Jin Akiyama, who is also a former investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co.

The company recently combined gaming development division in San Francisco and Tokyo. Akiyama said this move would help make new apps faster and cheaper, with the additional aim of cutting its workforce by 9%.

He also said the US-Japan combination was aimed at “narrowing down potential best-hit apps for sale and strengthening new-product pipeline management”.

Akiyama said new apps could be released as early as February.