News Column

Candy Crush Saga maker King plans US float

February 18, 2014





London - British computer-games maker King Digital Entertainment, known widely by its extraordinarily popular Candy Crush Saga, is targeting a minimum $500million through its New York Exchange initial public offering.

According to IPO documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Candy Crush was the top downloaded free mobile app of 2013 with an estimated 93million people every day playing the game, in which players match candies in combinations of three or more to win points and defeat obstacles.

Launched in late 2012, the mega revenue generator accounted for 78percent of King's total revenues of more than $600million and profits of about $160 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

As of December last year, the company states that its 150 games were played more than 1.2 billion times per day. The filed documents of the company reveals that King's annual revenues have risen from $64million in 2011 to $1.9billion last year, helping it to report $714.3million profit this year in a turnaround from losses reported in 2011..

The British technology firm has not so far disclosed the number of shares or their price range in the proposed float apart from indicating a "proposed maximum aggregate offering price" to raise $500milllion (300million pounds).

Registered in Dublin last year, King operates six game development studios in Europe, and has offices in San Francisco, and Malta - where its website is domiciled.

In January, the company explained on its website that it has acquired theEU trademark for the word "candy" and applied for the US equivalent to protect its intellectual property and thwart competitors trading on its name.

Despite its profitability and recent success, many analysts have expressed concerns that Candy Crush could be a one-hit wonder and King may follow the path of Zynga.

"It's got some fundamental issues," said Nicholas Lovell, director at Gamesbrief "Seventy-eight percent of its revenue has come from Candy Crush Saga. The concentration in one title is very big."

While reassuring potential investors, chief executive Riccardo Zacconi said, "We believe King has been built for the long haul and we look forward to working hard and having fun along the way as we head into this next stage of our company,".

The company has however admitted that it is vulnerable to the same problems which dogged Zynga being reliant on just three games out of its portfolio of 150 games for nearly all of its revenues.

"A small number of games currently generate a substantial majority of our revenue. In the fourth quarter of 2013, our top three games Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga accounted for 95pc of our total gross bookings," King said


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Source: Big News Network (United Arab Emirates)


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