Financial News

  • 13 March 2014, 9:12

Candy Crush Owner Aims For £4.75bn Value

The firm behind the hit mobile game Candy Crush Saga could be valued at a staggering $7.6bn (£4.75bn) following its planned flotation.

King Digital Entertainment, which announced its intentions for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange last month, said on Wednesday the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 22.2 million shares could be priced at up to $24 each.

Its statement, released by the US regulatory body the Securities and Exchange Commission, said: "We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of $326m.

King operates key offices in London and Stockholm, but bases its registered office in Dublin to assist with so-called transfer pricing.

"We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions."

Candy Crush - King's top-seller - started life as a Facebook game in 2012 but can also be played online and on smartphones.

It involves moving brightly coloured sweets around a grid to get at least three of a kind in a row.

Candy Crush is the biggest game for users on Facebook, having ousted Zynga's Farmville, and is free but players can pay for extras to smooth their passage through its more than 500 levels.

King has previously said it has more than one billion users of its games globally, with a gross income of £509,000 a day from players topping up their game credits.

Rival Zynga was valued at $7bn when it made its play on the stock market in December 2011, but it has been on a losing streak since then amid strong competition.

Despite its 1.1 billion users, Facebook had a rocky debut after it went public in May 2012, raising $16bn in the biggest tech IPO on record.

Its shares fell by more than half in the ensuing months but have since recovered thanks to strong gains in mobile ad revenues.

Twitter's IPO raised $1.8bn in November 2013 - although shares later tumbled on warnings the short message network was overvalued.

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