Japanese telecom giant Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) announced Tuesday it will acquire a majority stake in the Finnish game developer Supercell. The deal values the Finnish online gaming company at about $3 billion. Supercell, founded in 2010, makes two of the most popular online games Clash of Clans and Hay Day. Supercell focuses primarily on iOS and Android games, reports The Financial Times.
Softbank hungry for acquisitions
Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) CEO Masayoshi Son said his company will put in 80% of the total $1.53 billion. The remaining 20% or $300 million will come from GungHo Online Entertainment, in which Softbank already owns a partial stake. Supercell founder Ilkka Paananen said in a blog post today that Softbank’s investment will help his company expand into Asian markets.
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Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) is aggressively making acquisitions in North America and Europe. The Japanese company is trying to lower its dependence on the domestic market as Japan’s population continues to shrink. Earlier this year, the company acquired Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) for $21.6 billion. The Tokyo-based company owns stakes in about 1,000 Internet firms including Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s Japanese arm. It owns about a 35% stake in Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., which plans to go public next year.
The companies expect to complete the transaction by next month. Supercell has 130 employees. It reported a revenue of $179 million and profits of $106 million during the first quarter this year. According to company CEO Ilkka Paananen, its games hit 10 million downloads every day. Market research firm Newzoo said that global revenues from gaming will soar to $86.1 billion by 2016. The number of gamers across all platforms will grow to 1.55 billion. Mobile gaming, which currently makes up just 17% of total gaming revenues, will account for 30% of the total in 2016.
Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) CEO Masayoshi Son said Tuesday that the deal will help his company expand into rapidly growing mobile gaming business. He said Softbank aims to become the world’s largest mobile Internet company. Son said he will keep exploring interesting opportunities.