Sega Sammy to buy Angry Birds maker Rovio for 706 mln euros

April 17, 2023 06:50 PM AEST | By Reuters
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(Adds comment from Rovio CEO and analyst, Rovio share price moves)

TOKYO, April 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Sega Sammy Holdings Inc said on Monday it planned to acquire Finland's Rovio Entertainment Oyj for 706 million euros ($776 million) to bolster its mobile gaming business, sending Rovio shares soaring.

Sega Sammy will offer 9.25 euros for each share of the company behind the mobile game Angry Birds, a 19% premium over Friday's closing price, in its tender offer bid set to be launched around May 8.

Following the announcement, Rovio shares rose as much as 18.8% in early trade in Europe.

"In the rapidly growing global gaming market, the mobile gaming market has especially high potential, and it has been Sega's long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field," Sega Sammy CEO Haruki Satomi said in a statement.

The Sega Sammy announcement said Rovio's board of directors supported the tender offer, making the acquisition a friendly takeover.

"Combining the strengths of Rovio and Sega presents an incredibly exciting future," Rovio CEO Alexandre Pelletier-Normand said in the same written announcement.

Sega Sammy shares, however, fell 4.2% on the day prior to the tender offer announcement but after it said it was considering acquiring Rovio, amid investor doubts about synergy prospects.

"'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."

Rovio received a 683 million euro takeover bid in January from Israeli peer Playtika Holding Corp, but the talks were called off last month.

($1 = 0.9102 euros) (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Himani Sarkar and Jason Neely)


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