TOKYO (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 spur its growth in the fast-expanding global mobile gaming market.
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.
"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.
"I feel blessed to be able to announce such a transaction with Rovio, a company that owns 'Angry Birds', which is loved across the world."
Ahead of the official announcement, shares in Sega Sammy, which offers the action game series "Sonic the Hedgehog", closed down 4.2% in a broader market that was virtually unchanged.
Sega Sammy shares came under pressure after the company said on Monday morning that it was considering acquiring Rovio amid investor doubts about synergy prospects.
Acquiring Rovio will likely make it easier for Sega Sammy to expand in mobile gaming, but the lack of blockbuster products other than "Angry Birds" keeps investors cautious, Toyo Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda said.
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)