Rovio Entertainment has priced its stock market flotation at the top of its price range as investors showed strong interest in the maker of Angry Birds.
The stock, which is due to start trading on Friday at a price of €11.50 that values the Finnish company at €896 million, is below the $2 billion valuation pushed by some of Rovio’s backers in the summer with estimates of as much as $9 billion at the peak of Angry Bird’s success in 2011.
According to Financial Times, Rovio had struggled from the shift from paid-for gaming apps to so-called freemium games that cost nothing to play but feature expensive add-ons. But it was rescued by the unexpected success of The Angry Birds Movie, which made $350 million at the box office last year.
Rovio is said to be selling €30 million of new shares as part of the listing while existing shareholders, led by founder and former chairman Kaj Hed’s investment vehicle, will sell about 58 percent of the company, worth €458 million. The company said there had been heavy demand, leaving the IPO ‘multiple times’ oversubscribed.
“We are extremely happy and proud of the great interest towards Rovio’s IPO, both by Finnish and international investors. I would like to thank all who participated in the IPO for their trust towards our company,” Kati Levoranta, chief executive, said.
The IPO is another attempt at interesting investors in mobile gaming companies. Many of the most high profile, such as Zynga and King Digital, the makers of FarmVille and Candy Crush Saga, respectively, have struggled to maintain their success as well as create new titles with the same appeal.
Even arguably the most successful western mobile gaming company, Finland’s Supercell, has struggled to match its earlier strong performance as gamers seem to move on more quickly to the next title.
Rovio itself has slimmed down its ambitions after once aiming to becoming a gaming version of Disney with Angry Birds on everything from fishing gear to theme parks.
“The mobile gaming market is expected to grow fast and we are well positioned to take an advantage of this growth. The listing is an important step in developing Rovio into an even stronger games-first entertainment company,” Levoranta added.
Frontpage January 15, 2019