Angry Bird maker Rovio Entertainment plans to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) and a listing of its shares on Nasdaq Helsinki to “pursue its growth strategy and improve strategic flexibility.”
Rovio announced it will offer about €30 million of new stock in a move which the Finland-based company said would allow it to obtain access to capital markets and broaden its ownership base.
The listing, which was first mooted in June, is also expected to strengthen brand recognition, enhance competitiveness, and enable it to “use its shares more effectively as a means of consideration in potential acquisitions and remuneration of personnel”.
Kati Levoranta, CEO of Rovio (pictured, left), said: “I am confident in our games-first strategy. The contemplated IPO and listing are an important milestone in developing Rovio into an even stronger games-first entertainment company.”
Rovio’s operations are divided into two business units: games, which accounted for 79 per cent of its revenue in the year to 30 June, and brand licensing.
It said its games had been downloaded more than 3.7 billion times as of end-June 2017, and have an average of 80 million monthly active users and 11 million daily active users. This enables it to cross-promote its game titles cost effectively.
Other than some 17 Angry Birds games, it also makes titles including Fruit Nibblers and Battle Bay.
Rovio swung to profit at the end of 2016, in part thanks to the Angry Birds movie, which made around $350 million.
The company said the Angry Birds brand enjoys an average global brand awareness of 97 per cent, based on the results of a study it commissioned.
Levoranta pointed out Rovio’s Q2 2017 results showed it “continues its strong, profitable growth” adding recent launches – Angry Birds Evolution, Battle Bay and Angry Birds Match – fared better in terms of key performance indicators than any previously launched Rovio game, “thus suggesting additional growth potential ahead”.
The IPO is expected to consist of a secondary share sale by the largest shareholder, Trema International Holdings, and certain other shareholders.
Shares will be offered to private individuals and entities in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, along with institutional investors in Finland and internationally.
The company, certain members of management and existing shareholders will be subject to customary lock-up arrangements regarding share sales.
Rovio now plans to develop “fewer, bigger and better” games with the potential “to reach top-grossing lists and have a long lifetime.”
It also plans to grow its games unit revenue “faster than market growth in Western markets” and said its annual revenue is expected to “increase significantly” in 2017 compared to 2016.