Playtika Lifts Takeover Offer for Angry Birds Producer Rovio
Posted on: January 19, 2023, 12:02h.
Last updated on: January 19, 2023, 12:23h.
Mobile gaming company Playtika (NASDAQ: PLTK) said Thursday it’s increasing its acquisition offer for Rovio Entertainment Corporation to $9.78 a share.
The new all-cash bid represents a 55% premium to Rovio’s January 18 closing price in Helsinki. Finland-based Rovio is the company behind the popular mobile game franchise Angry Birds. The stock also trades over-the-counter in the US under the ticker “RVTTY.”
We firmly believe the combination of Rovio’s renowned IP and scale of its user base, together with our best-in-class monetization and game operations capabilities, will create tremendous value for our shareholders,” said Playtika Chief Executive Officer Robert Antokol in a statement.
Israel-based Playtika offered Rovio $9.18 a share last November. The Finnish company is currently in a quiet period and didn’t post a response to the new bid on its website. Currently, there is “no agreement has been entered into between Playtika and Rovio, and there is no assurance that any transaction will materialize or eventually be completed.”
Rovio Deal Could Benefit Playtika
Formerly a unit of Caesars Entertainment, Playtika was one of the first to offer free-to-play social games on social networks and mobile devices, and has more than 35 million monthly users. Its well-known games include Bingo Blitz, Caesars Slots, Slotomania, and World Series of Poker (WSOP) Social.
Facing a need for cash, the casino operator parted with the mobile games company in 2016, selling it to a group of Chinese investors for $4.4 billion. While Playtika is one of the forefathers of the social casino space, analysts and investors have opined that too much of the company’s revenue is dependent on a small number of games, and that a significant amount of the games produced by the studio aren’t popular with casual players.
Angry Birds, which Rovio describes as “one of the biggest mobile games and entertainment brand success stories of all time,” could allay those concerns. Interestingly, that was the 52nd game produced by the Finnish company, which was on the brink of bankruptcy when it debuted the now-iconic franchise.
Angry Birds debuted in 2009 and hit 500 billion app downloads in 2011, and a billion the following year. Some versions of the game feature in-app purchases, which are central to the revenue thesis for some mobile game makers. The latest version of the game isn’t considered “freemium” — industry lingo for free premium.
Playtika Needs to Boost Investor Confidence
Having lost nearly half its value over the past year, Playtika needs to make moves to restore investor confidence. Should it acquire a venerable franchise such as Angry Birds at what investors perceive as a fair price, that could contribute to the restoration project.
Previous efforts haven’t borne fruit. Last February, the company said it was considering strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.
Last June, technology buyout fund Joffre Capital announced it was acquiring a controlling stake in the mobile gaming company. But the buyer pulled the plug on that deal in December.
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