The company behind the compulsively addictive cellphone game Candy Crush Saga is expected to be worth up to $7.6 billion when it starts publicly trading later this month. Turns out that getting people to spend their subway rides moving three same-colored candies into a row is a very lucrative industry.
Talks of an IPO were first heard last June, but as Aman Shah and Neha Dimri report for Reuters, King Digital Entertainment Plc are looking to capitalize on a strong demand for technology investments. Facebook's recent $16 billion purchase of mobile messaging app WhatsApp and Twitter’s successful IPO in November have boosted confidence — but just don't mention Zynga.
Shah and Dimri also report that the King IPO could prompt other technology companies, many of whom are known for their “disruptive” ethos, including Spotify, AirBnB, and Square, the payments company, to go public sooner rather than later.
King Digital, who announced they were going public in February, has 180 games in 14 languages for Facebook, mobile platforms and their website. But its main draw is Candy Crush, which was the most downloaded free app of 2013 and has been downloaded more than 500 million times since it launched in 2012.
Candy Crush, which has an average of 144 million daily users, all tapping away with glazed expressions, is responsible for three-quarters of King’s revenues. While free to start, users can pay for extras and add-ons.
The offering looks set to be priced on March 25, with the stock to start trading on March 26. Dublin-based King Digital said that it expects to price the 22.2 million shares of its IPO at between $21 and $24 per share. The company will sell 15.5 million shares, while stockholders will sell 6.7 million shares in the offering, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
If you're new to the game, The Wire has rounded up some Candy Crush best practices. They may sound like gibberish to those who aren’t mobile gaming aficionados. “Three shining candies are not the best move,” apparently, and “you don’t need to buy anything to win the game.” But if you do, buy the toothbrush. So ... what?
The company said it has applied to list its shares under the symbol “KING” on the New York Stock Exchange. JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are lead underwriters for the offering.