The top video game publisher Activision Blizzard is acquiring CandyCrush Saga maker King digital in a deal valued at $5.9 billion, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.
Activision Blizzard, the creator of popular games such as Call of Duty and Destiny, has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of King for $18.00 in cash per share translating into a 20% premium over King’s 30 October 2015 closing price.
The deal brings together two of the top five popular video games in the U.S. and a leading console game franchise under one entity, positioning Activision Blizzard as a leading player in mobile and video game segments across mobile, console, and PC platforms.
“The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment. 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,” Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said in a statement.
King owns popular mobile and Facebook games Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga, while Activision Blizzard is the publisher of console game franchise “Call of Duty”, personal computing franchise “World of Warcraft”, besides well-known franchises such as Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone, Heroes of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo.
“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,” Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Executive Officer of King said in a statement. “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,” he added.
During the last twelve months ended 30 September 2015, Activision Blizzard had non-GAAP revenues of $4.7 billion and King had adjusted revenues of $2.1 billion. During the same period, Activision Blizzard had adjusted EBITDA of $1.6B and King had adjusted EBITDA of $0.9 billion.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by Spring 2016.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) was trading at $34.57, up 0.81% in pre-market session, and King Digital (NYSE:KING) closed at $15.54, about 3.9% up on Tuesday.