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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8896
JPY
USD
119.26
GBP
USD
0.6475
CAD
USD
1.2451
INR
USD
61.816

Rates may not be current.