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‘Angry Birds’ Creator Rovio Sees Modest IPO Liftoff Then Decline

29 Sep 2017

Shares of Rovio Entertainment — the games and entertainment company behind “Angry Birds” — rose as much as 7% in the company’s stock-market debut Friday, before retreating in afternoon trading to near the IPO price.

Rovio shares (under the ticket symbol “ROVIO”) began trading Friday on the Nasdaq Helsinki exchange, in an initial public offering that yielded 30 million euros ($35 million) in gross proceeds.

After pricing the IPO at 11.50 euros per share, Rovio stock peaked at 12.34 euros before falling later in the day. Shares were trading at 11.55 euros per share at 3:15 p.m. in Finland, up 0.4% from the IPO price but below the 12-euros-per share open.

With the IPO, the Finnish company has a current market cap of about $910 million — while Rovio’s owners reportedly had been hoping for a valuation of $2 billion ahead of the IPO. The company has said it intends to use the stock sale to fuel acquisitions of other game makers.

“We have a clear will to be a consolidator, and we are in a very good position to do that,” Kaj Hed, who remains Rovio’s largest shareholder, said in an interview Friday with Reuters.

Rovio, founded in 2003, had a huge early success with the “Angry Birds” game but in recent years the company has seen declining revenue and profits.

“Angry Birds” first launched as a mobile game in 2009. Today, Rovio develops and publishes multiple mobile games and produced 2016’s “The Angry Birds Movie” with Sony, which grossed $350 million at the box office worldwide. Rovio is developing a sequel slated for September 2019 release. Under the company’s revised strategy, Rovio does not plan to invest any of its own capital in the production of the movie.

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2017, Rovio reported revenue of 152.6 million euros (about $180 million at current exchange rates), up 94% from the year-earlier period, and a profit of 13.3 million euros ($16 million). The company’s games business unit accounted for 79% of revenue and brand licensing represented the remainder for the most recent 12-month period.

The company’s mobile games have been downloaded more than 3.7 billion times as of the end of June 2017, and they had on average 80 million monthly active users during the second quarter of 2017, according to Rovio. Recent game launches include “Angry Birds Evolution,” “Battle Bay” and “Angry Birds Match.”

 

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