Candy Crush maker King files for IPO with an expected valuation of $7.6 billion

king logoKing Digital Entertainment Plc, the producer of all-time-hit mobile phone game Candy Crush Saga files for an IPO to raise up to $533 million in of 22.2 million shares, with a per-share pricing between $21 and £24. The company will reportedly use the money to increase its working capital and acquire other companies. If the IPO trading goes around the upper end of the set range, the overall valuation of the company will reach $7.6 billion.

King Digital said the the stocks will start trading on March 26. It filed for a $500 million placeholder last February. There is also an over-allotment option to sell 3.33 million shares more.

Dublin, Ireland-based mobile gaming company apparently seek to capitalize on recent market interest in tech IPOs. Twitter, for example, showed an outstanding performance in the stock market, even without a profit and a clearly defined income model. Surge in Facebook share prices, soon-to-come IPOs of Spotify and AirBnB, and, more recently, the doubling of Coupon.com share prices right after its IPO make enough grounds for any tech firm hoping for precious capital injection via IPOs.

Apax Ventures and its affiliates, the biggest shareholders of King.com, will have 44.2 percent of the company after the IPO. The London private equity firm presently holds 48.2 percent stake while Index Ventures owns 8.3 percent according to the filing documents. Co-founder and CEO Riccardo Zacconi who has been running the company since its foundation in Sweden in 2003 has 10.4 percent. His stake will drop to 9.5 percent with the IPO.

Filing showed that company’s games have been played 1.4 billion times a day by an average of 144 million active users, The figures were 1.2 billion and 128 million respectively in December 2013. In the last quarter of 2013, 73 percent of the bookings for company’s games came from mobile.

Company declared $1.88 billion revenue for the last year, the three-quarters of which was generated by its all-time-hit Candy Crush Saga. The game had been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012. The company generates income through in-app sales of ad-ons and extra lives. King offers a total of 180 games in 14 languages for all platforms including Facebook.

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