MUNICH: Ravensburger, a German TV production company that also leads its national market in development of games, purchased French group Jeux Nathan in order to beef up its European interactive component. Jeux Nathan produces games, puzzles and CD-ROMs for kids and adults in Europe. Last year, the company grossed US$60 million in sales, but had to declare a net loss of US$7 million.
By taking over Jeux Nathan in July, Ravensburger hopes to strengthen its position outside Germany, in the larger European market; the German company is currently ranked number two in Europe for game sales-bested only by MB/Parker-and is market leader in the puzzles category. The company expects to generate an 8% sales increase by utilizing the new connection in France to distribute its products outside German borders. So far, Ravensburger has only managed to sell one item (‘Moving Puzzle’) in France. Disney and Ubi Soft are the leaders of the German market for interactive children’s products. Ravensburger accumulated a US$300 million gross profit in 1997 and increased sales by 3%. ‘It’s our strategy to internationalize our company, and France is an important market for us,’ says Erhard Pohle, member of the board at Ravensburger. In the near future, Ravensburger plans to expand its reach to the U.S.