News / Economy

    Candy Crush Saga Firm Plans US Listing

    Woman poses for photo illustration with iPhone as she plays Candy Crush, New York, Feb. 18, 2014.Woman poses for photo illustration with iPhone as she plays Candy Crush, New York, Feb. 18, 2014.
    x
    Woman poses for photo illustration with iPhone as she plays Candy Crush, New York, Feb. 18, 2014.
    Woman poses for photo illustration with iPhone as she plays Candy Crush, New York, Feb. 18, 2014.
    Reuters
    King, the Swedish firm behind hit mobile phone game Candy Crush Saga, is planning a U.S. stock market debut which some analysts think could value it at more than $5 billion and herald a flurry of technology company listings this year.

    The successful flotation of Twitter in November and a surge in Facebook shares have fueled speculation that a string of technology firms could come to market, including Spotify, AirBnB and Square, as well as King.

    However, some analysts are cautious about whether King can maintain its breakneck pace of growth, particularly given the difficulty some other games makers have experienced in maintaining success.

    Zynga, the maker of Farmville, has seen its share price halve since its late 2011 initial public offering (IPO), while Finland's Rovio has struggled to replicate the success of its 2010 hit Angry Birds.

    King co-founder and CEO Riccardo Zacconi played down such concerns, saying the group which is 48.2 percent-owned by private equity firm Apax Partners had so far launched five games for mobile phones and all had attracted substantial fan-bases.

    "Mobile usage is exploding and games are commanding the lion's share of time spent," he said in King's IPO prospectus.

    "Consumption habits have changed — mobile has meant that people consume more digital content than they ever have before, and they want to be entertained over short periods of time whenever and wherever they are."

    Candy Crush Saga, which involves moving candies to make a line of three in the same color, was the most downloaded free app of 2013, and the year's top revenue-grossing app.

    It has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012. The basic games are free, but players need to pay for add-ons or extra lives.

    The IPO prospectus offered a first glimpse into King's money-making machine, which generated $1.9 billion in revenues in 2013, or $5 million a day. It posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $825 million in the year, up from $28.5 million in 2012.

    By comparison, Zynga and Supercell, the company behind Clash of Clans, both earned around $900 million in revenues last year.

    Japanese tech and telecoms group Softbank bought 51 percent of Supercell late last year, valuing the firm at $3 billion, or around 6.5 times its 2013 EBITDA.

    Applying the same multiple to King's 2013 EBITDA would value the firm at around $5.3 billion.

    King said it would raise up to $500 million in the listing, but the amount a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees and the final size of the IPO could be different.

    Founded in 2003, King has been profitable since 2005 and has not had a funding round since September of that year, when it raised 34 million euros ($46 million) from Apax and Index Ventures.

    In the last few months, it has made more than $500 million in dividend payments — including a $217 million payout this month — to its board of directors, its top executives and major investors. Index Ventures owns 8.3 percent of King.

    King offers 180 games in 14 languages through mobile phones, Facebook and its own website, but is heavily reliant on Candy Crush Saga, which brings in about three quarters of its revenues. The company says its games are played more than 1 billion times a day.

    JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch have been appointed to lead the IPO.

    King plans to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "KING."

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9008
    JPY
    USD
    116.30
    GBP
    USD
    0.6957
    CAD
    USD
    1.3951
    INR
    USD
    68.033

    Rates may not be current.