Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish start-up behind the hit smartphone game Angry Birds and The Angry Birds Movie, has announced that it is planning to sell shares in an initial public offering in Helsinki, seeking funds to pursue its games-driven growth strategy. The offering will comprise a share issue of approximately $35.7m as well as a secondary share issue by shareholder Trema International Holdings.
Angry Birds surged into public consciousness in 2009 as a smash hit smartphone game, becoming the first mobile game to reach one billion downloads. It has now expanded its gaming portfolio with new launches such as Angry Birds Evolution. It has also cashed in on the success of its diversification into film entertainment, with the release of The Angry Birds Movie generating approximately $350m in box office revenues.
Building on this momentum, it has recently entered into a film licensing, production and distribution agreement with Sony-owned Columbia Pictures Industries for the film’s sequel, which is scheduled for release in 2019.
Rovio has recently entered into a film licensing, production and distribution agreement with Columbia Pictures Industries for the film’s sequel, which is scheduled for release in 2019.
Despite the success of the film, Rovio CEO, Kati Levoranta, has repeatedly underscored that the company intends to prioritise its game-making division, expressing confidence in its “games-first entertainment” strategy. She further explained in a statement: “All of our recent launches – Angry Birds Evolution, Battle Bay and Angry Birds Match – have shown better performance in key performance indicators than any previously launched Rovio game, thus suggesting additional growth potential ahead.”
The company’s press release expressed that it aims to develop “fewer, bigger and better” games that have the “potential to reach top-grossing lists and have a long lifetime”.
In addition, the company hopes that the IPO will provide a push for growth, as well as improving strategic flexibility and driving brand recognition. It will also enable the company to make full use of shares in potential acquisitions.