Candy Crush Saga: game's UK maker eyes up $5bn US float
Maker of Facebook's most popular game wants to list on Nasdaq, but can King keep shareholders sweet?
THE British company behind the "ridiculously addictive" game Candy Crush Saga has signalled its intention to float in the US.
King, a firm based in Soho, London, has "quietly filed documents" for an initial public offering in the US that would see it valued at an estimated $5bn, the Daily Telegraph reports. That would make it the biggest IPO by a British technology company "in years".
The company, which was founded in 2003 and was profitable within two years, has become a games software powerhouse. Its titles are played 30 billion times a month on average, with Candy Crush Saga - a game requiring players to match up columns and rows of sweets - leading the way.
Candy Crush Saga is the most popular game on Facebook, and is also available on Apple and Android handsets. Other King games include Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Pyramid Solitaire Saga.
Being in love is like playing candy crush, its addictive and hard to quit.
— Andrea Reyes (@_delosreyes21) September 27, 2013
Few details of the IPO are available because King is using "the same loophole" employed by Twitter to keep details of its own flotation, expected later this year, secret. It is believed King's turnover was about £300m at the start of the year, but that figure "has grown rapidly since then" thanks to Candy Crush Saga.
King is widely seen as the successor to Zynga, the San Francisco-based maker of the popular Facebook game FarmVille. But King will be hoping for a happier experience than Zynga which listed on the Nasdaq in December 2011. The company's shares peaked at $14.50 in March 2012, but tumbled to $2.09 after costs spiralled and analysts questioned its long-term prospects.
King has declined to comment on its IPO filing. But chief executive Riccardo Zacconi has previously admitted he wants to float the company in the US. ·