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EA Plants $750M for PopCap Games

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ending weeks of speculation, Electronic Arts (ERTS) announced Tuesday that it bought PopCap Games, the maker of popular smartphone games like Bejewled and Plants vs. Zombies. The deal went down for about $750 million.

Seattle-based PopCap was acquired by EA to expand its digital business, which EA hopes will exceed $1 billion in revenue this year.

The PopCap buy marks another notch in EA's recent, aggressive push into digital. In October, EA snapped up mobile gaming company Chillingo, the publisher of the addictive smartphone game, Angry Birds. And in May, it acquired Firemint, creator of mobile gaming titles like Flight Control and Real Racing,

EA also purchased social gaming company Playfish in 2009.

"PopCap has a proven financial trajectory with sustained revenue growth and double-digit operating margins," said EA CFO Eric Brown in a press release. "On a non-GAAP basis, this deal is expected to be at least ten-cents accretive in fiscal year 2013."

Prior to its acquisition, PopCap was pegged as a strong IPO candidate for 2011. The company is profitable, generated roughly $100 million last year and has over 400 employees.

Shares of EA dropped 3% to $23.40 in after-hours trading on Tuesday following the PopCap news.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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