Angry Birds Maker Plans IPO That May Value It at $2 Billion
Angry Birds maker Rovio plans to sell shares in a Helsinki initial public offering, seeking funds to support its resurgence seven years after releasing its best-selling mobile-game title, according to Bloomberg.
Main owner Kaj Hed, 62, and some other holders will sell shares, and Rovio will offer about 30 million euros of new stock, the company said without providing a total value for the sale. The IPO could value the maker of the Angry Birds mobile games and movie at about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said last month.
Rovio has emerged from a slump after changing the way it charges for game playing, and an IPO gives CEO Kati Levoranta ammunition to develop new titles. The listing is set to test investors’ appetite for entertainment software, a group whose shares have barely budged from their offer prices following IPOs this year.
A $2 billion valuation would translate into a $1.4 billion fortune for director Hed, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He holds about 69 percent of Rovio after investing 1 million euros more than a decade ago into the company co-founded by his nephew Niklas Hed.
Proceeds from an IPO could also help the company fund the “Angry Birds Movie 2,” planned for 2019. The company’s first film in the franchise, released last year, made about $350 million in worldwide box-office sales.
Rovio, based in Espoo, Finland, last month reported second-quarter revenue growth of 94 percent to 86.2 million euros, with the games business increasing sales 65 percent to 61.3 million euros. The company is benefiting from a new strategy that places more focus on in-game purchasing and advertising instead of paid downloads.