Angry Birds is one of the most famous mobile games in the world. Developed by Rovio, the game became quite a sensation during the initial smartphone era. However, the game has since lost its edge and Rovio is looking at new means to boost business. In the latest effort to fund new games and consolidate the industry, Rovio Entertainment Ltd is going ahead with the much awaited- initial public offering. The company confirmed the move in a statement released on Tuesday.
The Finnish company is expected to raise around 30 million Euros ($36 million) by the selling of new shares. The existing investors are also expected to sell their shares at an undisclosed amount. These include venture capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico as well the uncle of company’s co-founder. As per 2017, games developed by Rovio have been downloaded 3.7 billion times across different platforms worldwide. The company has not put any value on itself while media estimates the value as high as $2 billion.
The company gained much attention owing to the rapid growth of its Angry Birds game in 2009. The game became a global phenomenon. In this game, players used a slingshot to attack pigs and steal birds’ eggs. The game became so popular that company even cashed in by licensing toys and clothing of Angry Birds. However, the company’s business soon declined towards 2011 with the emergence of rival Supercell’s “Clash of Clans” and King’s “Candy Crush Saga”. Rovio didn’t adapt to the trend of free games that rely on in-game purchases and advertising. Hence the company faced severe losses. The 2016 3D movie ‘Angry Birds’ however helped the company revive to a certain extent.
Industry experts believe Rovio is just too heavily dependent on Angry Birds. It should look out for new avenues. Though the company is in works to have new games, a sequel to the 2016 Angry Birds is set for 2019 release. Interestingly, last year Chinese company Tencent Holdings bought the majority in another Finnish games maker, Supercell. The entire deal was worth close to about $7.2 billion.
The majority share of Rovio is owned by Trema International. Trema International is owned by Kaj Hed and operates 69% of the share in Rovio. Kaj Hed is the uncle of Rovio co-founder Niklas Hed. There no news as to exact figure of sales. Rovio has not released any details as to how many shares the existing shareholders will sell. However, company Chairman Mika Ihamuotila has indicated that Trema International would continue to remain a long-term investor. Furthermore, no details of the listing have been made. The company is yet to announce the proposed timeframe for the planned listing on the Helsinki stock exchange.
The IPO will be coordinated jointly by Carnegie and Danske while Deutsche Bank and OP are joint book runners.