Los Angeles Business Journal

Mobile Commerce Firm Signals Expansion Plan

Communications: Mandalay Digital makes moves as it aims at Nasdaq. By Ryan Faughnder Monday, April 22, 2013

Mandalay Digital Group Inc., a mobile communications company led by Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton and backed by Hollywood mogul Peter Guber, has had a busy April as it actively positions itself for a jump to the big time.

The L.A. company this month gained access to the Asia-Pacific market with its purchase of Australian mobile technology company Mia; had a $1 million capital infusion from Guber and Robert Ellin, another director; and last week engineered a reverse stock split, boosting its Over the Counter share price.

The activity caught the attention of investors, who drove its share price up 6 percent to $4.50 for the week ended April 17, making it one of the biggest gainers on the LABJ stock index. (See page 62.)

Mandalay Digital, which makes software that allows mobile phone operators and digital publishers to bypass traditional app stores to sell content directly through mobile devices, is trying to get listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange so it can attract more investors, entice customers and acquire other businesses.

“We’re marching towards getting ourselves on the Nasdaq and we need to make sure we have the right equity value and the stock price to do that,” said Adderton, Mandalay’s chief executive.

To that end, the company completed a one-for-five reverse split April 15. The same day, Guber, chairman and chief executive of Mandalay Entertainment Group and part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Ellin, a managing director at hedge fund Trinad Capital, each made an equity investment of $500,000. The company did not say how many shares they received for it.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission made last year, Guber, Mandalay Digital’s chairman, controls about 16 percent of the company’s stock, while Ellin, a director, controls more than 26 percent. Adderton held 8 percent of the company’s common stock at the time of the filing.

Listing boost

Mandalay Digital, which has 25 employees in Los Angeles and 120 worldwide, is trying to stake out a space to take advantage of an expanding market for mobile apps, games and music.

Though games and apps are used on mobile devices, they are not sold by the cellular carriers, who would like expand their revenue streams by tapping into those sales. Mandalay Digital’s software would allow mobile carriers to sell apps to their customers, taking a slice of the market now dominated by Google Inc.’s Google Play and Apple Inc.’s iTunes.

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