Malaysia’s MOL Buys Friendster

MOL Global, an affiliate of Malaysia’s online payment solutions provider MOL Access Portal Berhad, has acquired social network Friendster.

Following the acquisition, the operations of MOL and Friendster will be combined to create an end-to-end content, distribution and commerce network.

Friendster has been in the process of negotiations since July of this year.

The combined entity will maintain offices in Mountain View, Calif., the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

The purchase price was not disclosed but is believed to be about $100 million.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah, president and chief executive officer of MOL, will become the group chief executive officer of the combined entity, while Richard Kimber, chief executive officer of Friendster, will become the non-executive chairman.

“The merger with Friendster will continue to transform the social networking industry, combining a highly intuitive and successful social media site and online marketing channel with an integrated payment platform and content network which includes games, goods, gifts, music and video. We are creating a unique company that will be well positioned to provide content to a huge, regional user base, here in Southeast Asia,” Bangah said.

“The new combined entity gives Friendster the kind of financial backing, retail distribution, and e-commerce infrastructure that will enable us to accelerate our strategy and create a locally relevant, fun experience for our users in Asia, both on- and offline,” Kimber said.

Friendster recently launched a new brand and Web site with new features aiming to focus on the Asian youth market.

See also:

“Social Sites Less Friendly to Video Ads”

“Is Facebook Getting Uncool for 18-24s”

“Does the Hard Sell Work on Social Nets?”

Marketing Magazine Asia

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