initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Sunday, October 13, 2013

British Game Maker Behind Candy Crush files for IPO

King, the British computer games maker behind Candy Crush Saga, has quietly filed documents for an initial public offering in the US, expected to value the firm at more than $5bn. CEO Riccardo Zacconi

The company has filed for a public offering in the United States, according to people briefed on the matter, in what promises to be one of the biggest debuts by a gaming company in over a year. It has also retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase to lead the offering, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the listing process is being done in secret.

King's reported filing is similar to the one that allowed Twitter to keep its IPO confidential last week. King hired a chief financial officer, Hope Cochran, this week. She held the same title at Clearwire, which built the first 4G network in the USA and merged with Sprint in 2012.

King has increasingly gained the attention of investors and analysts for the worldwide success of Candy Crush Saga. The popular puzzle game has helped King reach nearly 250 million monthly active players and generate a few million dollars a day.

Both anticipated public stock offerings come amid a dearth of tech public offerings. Just one in six new U.S. listings this year have been tech-related stocks, making 2013 potentially the second-worst showing in 20 years, according to data provider Dealogic. At the height of the dot-com boom, in 1999, 69% of all IPOs were technology or Internet companies.

Candy Crush Saga is the most popular game played on Facebook

The 22 tech-related U.S. IPOs this year – out of 134 – have raised $3.4 billion.

Tech's lag is a clear byproduct of Facebook's disappointing IPO debut in May 2012. Before it, Zynga stumbled out of the IPO gate in December 2011.

King could trigger more tech-centric public offerings, including long-rumored IPOs for Box and Dropbox in 2014.

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