Angry Birds maker targets $1.5b listing

Angry Birds toys on display at the headquarters of Rovio Entertainment in Espoo, Finland. The company announced its long-awaited IPO this month, saying it was aiming to boost growth and to take part in gaming industry consolidation.
Angry Birds toys on display at the headquarters of Rovio Entertainment in Espoo, Finland. The company announced its long-awaited IPO this month, saying it was aiming to boost growth and to take part in gaming industry consolidation.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

HELSINKI • Finnish mobile games maker Rovio Entertainment set a price range yesterday for its planned listing that would value the maker of Angry Birds at up to US$1.1 billion (S$1.48 billion), well below potential values cited in media reports.

The company, whose business is recovering after a tough couple of years, announced its long-awaited initial public offering this month, saying it was aiming to boost growth and to take part in gaming industry consolidation. Initial media reports had said it could be valued at up to US$2 billion in the flotation, though analysts had questioned if that could be achieved.

The preliminary price range of €10.25 to €11.50 per share announced yesterday would give Rovio a market value of €802 million to €896 million (S$1.28 billion to S$1.48 billion).

Said analyst Atte Riikola from equity research firm Inderes: "Looking at sales, the valuation pits Rovio at the same level as its peers, but includes profit growth expectations."

Rovio grew rapidly after Angry Birds was launched in 2009 but was slow to respond to a shift to freely available mobile games that make revenue from in-game purchases. Its business quickly declined as rival games, such as Supercell's Clash Of Clans and King's Candy Crush Saga took over.

Rovio booked an operating loss and cut a third of its staff in 2015. However, sales are now recovering on the back of the 2016 release of 3D movie Angry Birds, as well as new games.

The company expects to sell about 55 per cent of its shares in the flotation, raising €438 million to €488 million, with most going to its major owners, including Trema International and venture capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico.

The subscription period starts on Monday, with trading expected on the Helsinki bourse's main list on Oct 3.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2017, with the headline 'Angry Birds maker targets $1.5b listing'. Print Edition | Subscribe