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June 18, 2017

Could ‘Angry Birds’ maker Rovio finally be headed for an IPO or acquisition?

by John_A

Why it matters to you

You may not have heard of Rovio, but the maker of ‘Angry Birds’ might have a lucrative future ahead.

It’s been six years since we first told you about Angry Birds maker Rovio’s plans to go public, but now, it seems as though action is on the horizon. As per a report from The Information, the Finnish game maker and animation studio “could list on the stock exchange in the future.” The company would not, however, comment on reports that another exit strategy could be an acquisition by Tencent Holdings, China’s giant investment company with a penchant for buying game developers.

The Information did not name its sources in suggesting that Tencent could be considering a bid of up to $3 billion for Rovio. And it certainly wouldn’t be an unprecedented move for the company. After all, over the course of the last year, Tencent has made a number of acquisitions totaling a cool $19 billion, and among its new holdings include companies like Supercell Oy, yet another Finnish game creator which created the Clash of Clans franchise.

Of course, Rovio is a lot less prolific, seeing as it has exactly one claim to fame — Angry Birds. But given that one game’s continuing popularity, it’s certainly an attractive company. After all, the game not only has worldwide appeal, but has also inspired a whole line of paraphernalia, and even a movie.

That said, Rovio has fallen upon tougher times lately. Last year was the first time in quite some time that the company made a profit, thanks to the success of the Angry Birds movie, which seemed to improve game sales. But prior to that, earnings at Rovio had taken a tumble, jobs were cut, and divestments were made.

As such, a more likely alternative could be an IPO. “We and our shareholders regularly assess different alternatives to further develop Rovio,” the company said in an emailed statement on Friday to Reuters. “A stock exchange listing at some point in the future could be possible in order to support the continued strong growth of Rovio and its strategic targets. However, Rovio and its owners have not made any decisions regarding a possible IPO.”

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