initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, July 1, 2011

FarmVille and CityVille creator Zynga files for a $1 billion IPO

The online gaming company filed to go public on Friday, teeing up one of the most highly anticipated technology offerings this year. The start-up, founded four years ago by its 45-year-old chief executive, Mark Pincus, said it expected to raise about $1 billion in the offering, based on a figure used to calculate the registration fee.

  • Company valued at $20 billion
  • More than $90 million in net income in 2010
  • 230 million monthly active users in nearly 140 countries
  • Underwriters include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, JP Morgan and Allen and Company

But Zynga’s ambitions for its eventual IPO may be substantially higher.

According to people briefed on the matter, Zynga is expected to ultimately offer up to 10 percent of its shares at a valuation near or above $20 billion. The company has selected Morgan Stanley to lead the offering; Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Allen & Company and Barclays Capital are also participating.

A spokeswoman for Zynga declined to comment.

Unlike some of its Internet peers that have struggled to claw their way into the black, Zynga swung to a profit last year, recording profit of $90.6 million. Revenue roughly quadrupled last year, to $597.5 million. On an adjusted net income basis, the company recorded profit of $392.7 million in 2010 and has been in the black every year for the least three years.

The numbers reveal how the company’s stable of cartoonish games, has become one of the Web’s most powerful cash machines. As of the end of March, Zynga had $995.6 million in cash on hand.

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