Stock Exchange Keeps Pirate Bay Buyers Under Close Watch

Internet cafe operator Global Gaming Factory X will be delisted from a Swedish stock exchange if it engages in illegal activities involving the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, which it plans to acquire, a stock exchange official has warned.

Companies that are involved in illegal activities aren't allowed to be listed on AktieTorget, the stock exchange where GGF currently is listed, according to Peter Gönczi, head of market surveillance at the stock exchange.

Global Gaming Factory X has announced it plans to acquire The Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish kronor (US$7.8 million). At least half of the 60 million kronor for The Pirate Bay will also be paid in cash, GGF said. The deal is expected to be final in August, subject to a number of closing conditions. The company has to obtain financing, which it plans to do by issuing new shares.

It will be up to the courts to decide if what GGF eventually does with The Pirate Bay is legal, Gönczi said. The legal problems of Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, who ran The Pirate Bay, are not relevant to the situation with GGF, he said. GGF has said it wants to launch new business models that allow for compensation to content providers and copyright owners. So the company has the benefit of the doubt for now, he said.

However, GGF is also being investigated on suspicions of insider trading in the weeks leading up to the acquisition announcement. Trading was halted on June 22, and was then started again after GGF had said it planned to buy The Pirate Buy. Gönczi declined to comment further regarding the investigation.

Global Gaming Factory X stock has been moved to AktieTorget's so-called Observation List, which informs potential buyers that something special has happened that needs to be taken into account before buying shares, according to Gönczi.

GGF did not respond to a request for comment.

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