Sega Sammy Holdings Inc, the Japanese video game company, announced its plans to acquire Rovio Entertainment Oyj, the Finnish company behind the popular mobile game Angry Birds, for a whopping €706 million ($776 million). The acquisition will strengthen Sega Sammy’s mobile gaming business and expand its presence in the rapidly growing global gaming market.
Sega Sammy’s tender offer bid, set to be launched around May 8, will offer €9.25 for each share of Rovio, a 19% premium over Friday’s closing price. Rovio’s board of directors supported the tender offer, making the acquisition a friendly takeover.
Following the announcement, Rovio’s shares rose as much as 18.8% in early trade in Europe, indicating a positive response from the market. Sega Sammy CEO Haruki Satomi said that the mobile gaming market has high potential, and it has been the company’s long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field.
Rovio CEO Alexandre Pelletier-Normand echoed the sentiment, saying that combining the strengths of Rovio and Sega presents an incredibly exciting future. The acquisition is set to bolster both companies and could lead to significant synergies.
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However, Sega Sammy’s shares fell 4.2% on the day prior to the tender offer announcement, after the company said it was considering acquiring Rovio, amid investor doubts about synergy prospects. Some experts also noted that the Angry Birds brand may have already peaked, making the acquisition a risky move.
“Angry Birds is known everywhere in the world. But the brand is already past its peak,” said Serkan Toto, founder of the Kantan Games consultancy. “I think investors (in Sega Sammy) are disappointed by this use of 700 million euros.”
Interestingly, this is not the first time Rovio has received a takeover bid. In January, the Finnish company received a €683 million takeover bid from Israeli peer Playtika Holding Corp, but the talks were called off last month. It seems that Rovio has found a suitable partner in Sega Sammy, and the acquisition could bring significant benefits to both companies.
Overall, the acquisition is a significant move for Sega Sammy and highlights the company’s commitment to expanding its mobile gaming business. While there may be some concerns about the Angry Birds brand, the potential synergies between Sega Sammy and Rovio make this a promising acquisition. It remains to be seen how the deal will pan out, but one thing is clear: the global gaming market is rapidly evolving, and companies need to adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve.