Playtika in shock bid to acquire Rovio

 

Playtika has offered to buy Angry Birds maker Rovio.

It is an all cash proposal of €9.05 per share, a 55% premium over Rovio’s closing share price on January 18.

That values Rovio at a little over €750m, or $812m. Rovio’s current market cap is €470m, or $508m.

It is Playtika’s second bid for the Angry Birds maker, and the first public one. It previously offered to buy the Finnish mobile giant privately in a proposal submitted on November 16 2022 for €8.50 per share.

“We firmly believe the combination of Rovio’s renowned IP and scale of its user base, together with our best-in-class monetisation and game operations capabilities, will create tremendous value for our shareholders,” said Playtika CEO Robert Antokol.

Playtika has rarely been out of the headlines in the last 12 months. It effectively announced it was for sale or looking for a merger in early 2022 and almost got a deal with Joffre Capital over the line later that year, but the latter pulled out of the agreement citing management issues.

In the last year it also deprioritised major Wooga launch Switchcraft citing missed targets, and later closed Best Fiends studio Seriously, moving game production to other offices in Israel and Poland.

It also found time to invest $25m in Turkish start-up Ace Games, and ended the year announcing that it would be axing over 600 staff, reducing its workforce by 15%.

[Update 20/1/23]

Rovio has responded to the offer by confirming its receipt and stating that Playtika’s approach “was made public nearly simultaneously with its submission to the Board” and that it “has not been co-ordinated with the Board of Rovio in any manner.”

It also said there’s a long way to go yet, and like any other deal it is subject to the completion of due diligence, final approval from Playtika’s board, a unanimous and unqualified recommendation from Rovio’s board, plus negotiation over the terms of the deal.

“At this time, Rovio is not engaged in any negotiations with Playtika,” it added. “The Board of Rovio is evaluating the Indicative Proposal and will determine whether and how to proceed with it.”

“Rovio will release further information at an appropriate time. There can be no assurance that the Indicative Proposal will result in any cash tender offer or any other transaction.”