Monday 20 November 2017

Angry Birds maker Rovio plans IPO to spur growth

A scene from the 2016 Angry Birds movie, which helped revive the brand
A scene from the 2016 Angry Birds movie, which helped revive the brand

Jussi Rosendahl

'Angry Birds' maker Rovio Entertainment is moving ahead with a long-awaited initial public offering to help fund new games and deals in a consolidating industry.

The Finnish company yesterday said it would raise around €30m by selling new shares, while existing investors - which include the uncle of the company's co-founder as well as venture capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico - would also sell an undisclosed stake in the business.

Rovio, whose games had been downloaded 3.7 billion times by June, declined to put an estimated value on the company, which some media reports have said could be as high as $2 billion.

Rovio saw rapid growth after the 2009 launch of the original 'Angry Birds' game, in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs that steal birds' eggs, as the company cashed in on its popularity by licensing the brand for use on toys and clothing.

In 2011, it said a flotation was a mid-term target, but there was little progress as business quickly declined amid the rise of rival games. In 2015, it made an operating loss and cut third of staff.

But the 2016 release of 3D movie "Angry Birds", together with new games, have revived the brand and helped sales recover.

Irish Independent

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