Angry Birds Maker Rovio Sets $1 Billion IPO

Russell Richardson September 15, 2017
Angry Birds Maker Rovio Sets $1 Billion IPO

Finnish mobile games maker Rovio Entertainment Ltd. sets a price range on Friday for its planned listing that would value the maker of “Angry Birds” at up to $1.1 billion.

The Espoo, Finland-based company, whose business is recovering after a tough couple of years, announced its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) this month, saying it was aiming to boost growth and to take part in gaming industry consolidation.

Initial media reports had said the company could be valued at up to $2 billion in the launch, though analysts had already questioned whether that could really be achieved.

The initial price range of 10.25 euros to 11.50 euros per share announced on Friday would give Rovio a market value of 802 million to 896 million euros, or $950 million to $1.1 billion.

The Finnish firm's boss, Kati Levoranta, said the listing would help the company expand further.

It is "more than just a gaming company", she said, with sales from film and merchandising as well.

The subscription period for the IPO will kick off on Sept. 18 and end on Sept. 26, while the subscription period for Rovio's institutional offering—also open to international investors—will start on the same day and end on Sept. 28.

The Finnish firm expects to list on the main part of the Helsinki Nasdaq on 3 October.

“Angry Birds” Maker

Rovio, whose games have been downloaded 3.7 billion times, grew rapidly after the original “Angry Birds” game was launched in 2009.

For the year to 30 June, Rovio reported revenues of 265.8 million euros, of which 210.1m euros came from games and 55.7m euros from brand licensing.

"The mobile gaming market is expected to grow fast and Rovio has grown faster than the market in recent years," said Levoranta.

"The listing is an important step in developing Rovio into an even stronger games-first entertainment company."

However, Rovio was slow to answer to a shift to freely available mobile games that make revenue from in-game purchases. Its business quickly declined as rival games such as Supercell’s “Clash of Clans” and King’s “Candy Crush Saga” took over.

Rovio booked an operating loss and cut a third of its staff in 2015. However, sales are now recovering on the back of the 2016 release of 3D movie “Angry Birds”, as well as new games.

The company expects to sell about 55 percent of its shares in the launch, raising 438 million to 488 million euros. Only 30 million would go into Rovio’s funds, with most going to its major owners, including Trema International and venture capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico.

Trema, which is owned by Kaj Hed, the uncle of Rovio co-founder Niklas Hed, is expected to keep a stake of 37 percent after the listing, down from 69 percent now, Rovio said.

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Russell Richardson


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