According to Financial Times (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d7b58588-a9d5-11e3-8bd6-00144feab7de.html#axzz2vkczETNw), King.com said it plans to raise as much as $530m in a US initial public offering that would value the company at almost $7.6bn at the top of its pricing range.
The company, founded in 2003, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission that it planned to sell 15.5m shares for between $21 and $24 per share in its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
Shareholders in King Digital Entertainment are selling a further 6.7m shares. Apax is King’s biggest shareholder with a 48.2 per cent stake, while Index Ventures has 8.3 per cent. The executive team holds about a third of the company.
King has seen huge growth in recent years and now boasts about 324m monthly users, most of whom play its games on their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
More than three-quarters of King’s gross revenues coming from a single game: Candy Crush Saga. The game invites players to form rows of three jellied sweets. People can play for free but can pay to speed up their progress through the game and pass difficult levels.
King’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose from $4m in 2011 to $825m in 2013, according to its prospectus.
Full-year sales rose to $1.8bn with pre-tax profit of $714m. The average revenue per employee in 2013 was $2.7m.
The games developer, which was co-founded by Italian entrepreneur Riccardo Zacconi, recently relocated from Sweden to the UK. It started out making games for the web and later for Facebook, before hitting the jackpot in the last couple of years by designing games for mobile devices.
The IPO values King.com at around 4x 2013 sales. This compares to 2x for G5 Entertainment, the Sweden listed mobile gaming developer and publisher.