Sega to acquire Angry Birds maker Rovio for $776 million
Japanese gaming giant Sega announced Monday it planned to acquire the maker of the Angry Birds puzzle game, Finland’s Rovio Entertainment Oyj, for 706 million euros ($776 million) to bolster its mobile gaming business.
The announcement comes three months after Israeli gaming company Playtika offered to buy the company for 683 million euros ($737.50 million), but the deal fell through after talks were called off last month. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the Rovio deal was expected to be worth around $1 billion.
The shares of Rovio rose as much as 18.8% in early trade in Europe immediately after the announcement. In a statement, Rovio CEO Alexandre Pelletier-Normand said: “Combining the strengths of Rovio and Sega presents an incredibly exciting future.”
Pelletier-Normand added that Red, the lead character in Angry Birds, and Sonic the Hedgehog were “two globally recognized and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary companies, with a worldwide reach that spans mobile, PC/console, and beyond.”
“In the rapidly growing global gaming market, the mobile gaming market has especially high potential, and it has been SEGA’s long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field,” said Sega Sammy’s Group CEO, Haruki Satomi, in a statement.
Angry Birds is “loved across the world,” he added. “I am confident that, through a combination of both companies’ brands, characters, fanbase, as well as corporate culture and functionality, there will be significant synergies created going forward.”
Angry Birds, which Rovio describes as “one of the biggest mobile games and entertainment brand success stories of all time,” debuted in 2009 and hit 500 billion app downloads in 2011, and a billion the following year.