In an all-cash deal, Sega is buying Rovio for €706 million ($775 million). Playtika, an Israeli mobile gaming business, offered €750 million ($810 million) to buy Rovio in January, but talks ended last month without explanation. However, Rovio confirmed that it was still in talks with other parties, with claims over the weekend that Sonic the Hedgehog-maker Sega was involved.
Now that the acquisition is public, Rovio expects it to finalize in Q2 of its current fiscal year—sometime in the next couple of months—subject to “certain customary conditions.”
Sega’s offer is a 63.1% premium on Rovio’s closing price on January 19, the last trading date before takeover rumors surfaced, and a 19% premium on Friday, April 14.
Rovio, founded in 2003, is a European technological success story. Rovio had produced dozens of games before Android and iOS, and the smartphone revolution launched Angry Birds into the mainstream, spawning toys, cookbooks, movies, and a TV show.
Rovio went public in 2017 on Nasdaq Helsinki with a $1 billion value. However, the company’s shares have primarily declined, hovering around half their IPO value. Thus, Rovio began courting potential buyers.
Sega aims to “accelerate” its game development and “generate synergies” with Rovio. Sega was drawn to Rovio’s experience in “live service” mobile gaming, which involves constant content updates to keep gamers engaged. Sega also said Rovio’s expertise could help it expand its current and new games in additional markets, particularly Europe and North America.
Sega will utilize its cross-platform experience to help Rovio expand beyond mobile games to consoles and web browsers.
This partnership allows Sega to expand its mobile gaming presence and Rovio to do the opposite.
“Among 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,” stated Sega Sammy Holdings president and group CEO Haruki Satomi in a news release. “I am confident that, by combining both companies’ brands, characters, fanbase, corporate culture, and functionality, significant synergies will be created.”