US computer video games firm Activision Blizzard has officially announced that it has bought Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment, is the creator of Candy Crush Saga. Acquisition has been made by paying US$5.9 billion dollars, where the King’s shareholders will receive $18.00 in cash per share comprising a total equity value of $5.9 billion and an enterprise value of $5 billion US dollars.
Regarding the acquisition, Activition said it would make it a global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms. It added the combined firm would have more than half a billion monthly active users in 196 countries.
Although King has developed more than 200 titles, including the most popular Candy Crush, Farm Heroes, Pet Rescue and Bubble Witch. Offerings these games in over 200 countries and regions worldwide, the company has said it has 340 million average monthly users across Web, social and mobile platforms as of second quarter of 2015.
Video game publishers are however switching from the physical sale of games to digital growth as consumers move from consoles to playing on smartphones and tablets.
In a statement, Activision Blizzard cheif executive Bobby Kotick said:
“With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before.” Activision Blizzard will provide King with experience, support and investment to continue to build on their tremendous legacy and reach new potential. We share an unwavering commitment to attracting and developing the best talent in the business, and we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish together.
He then said that Activision Blizzard is paying a sum of $18 in cash for each King share, and the deal is expected to boost Activision’s adjusted revenue and earnings by about 30%. He said that 60% of King Digital Entertainment’s players were female, and that no games console or hardware, besides a smartphone, was needed to access its games.
Point to be noted is that Candy Crush Saga, which was first launched on Facebook and smartphones in 2012, caught the public imagination and still makes up about a third of the company’s revenue.
Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Executive Officer of King, said:
We are excited to be entering into this Acquisition with Activision Blizzard. Since 2003, we have built one of the largest player networks on mobile and Facebook, with 474 million monthly active users in the third quarter 2015, and our talented team has created some of the most successful mobile game franchises. We believe that the Acquisition will position us very well for the next phase of our company’s evolution and will bring clear benefits to our players and employees. We will combine our expertise in mobile and free-to-play with Activision Blizzard’s world-class brands and proven track record of building and sustaining the most successful franchises, to bring the best games in the world to millions of players worldwide.