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Deals - Asia

SoftBank takes 9.7% stake in Norway's Kahoot, boosting share price

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

OSLO (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Group 9984.T has taken a 9.7% stake in educational gaming company Kahoot KAHOOT-ME.OL by investing 1.98 billion Norwegian crowns ($216 million) in new equity, the Norwegian company said on Tuesday.

Kahoot’s online platform of games-based learning and entertainment was growing fast before the coronavirus pandemic and has seen rapid expansion this year as schools and firms adopted online education tools.

Kahoot’s share price jumped 17.8% in early trade, hitting a record 58.5 crowns on the news. The shares have risen 179% so far this year.

The new cash will help the company fund its expansion plans, which could include mergers or acquisitions, details of the transaction showed.

“SoftBank will strengthen (Kahoot’s) shareholder base as an investor with deep expertise and experience owning and developing software companies,” the Oslo-listed firm said in a statement.

The new shares were sold to a unit of Softbank at 46 crowns each, a 7.3% discount to Monday’s closing price of 49.65 crowns.

Brokers ABG Sundal Collier, Arctic Securities and Goldman Sachs International advised Kahoot on the deal.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Susan Fenton and Louise Heavens

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