|The KING pricing could provide a sympathetic bounce for ZNGA:|
Candy Crush Saga maker King seeks $7.56 billion valuation from IPO
Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:58am EDT
A woman poses for a photo illustration with an iPhone as she plays Candy Crush in New York February 18, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Reuters) - King Digital Entertainment Plc, best known for the hit mobile phone game Candy Crush Saga, said it expects to price its U.S. initial public offering at between $21 and $24 per share, valuing the company's equity at about $7.56 billion.
The Dublin-based company said it will sell 15.5 million shares in the offering, while stockholders, including Apax Ventures, will sell 6.7 million shares, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. ( r.reuters.com/bar57v)
The IPO will raise as much as $532.8 million at the top-end of the planned range. It had filed for a $500 million placeholder in February.
Candy Crush Saga, which involves moving candies to make a line of three in the same color, was the most downloaded free app of 2013 and the year's top revenue-grossing app.
It has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012. The basic games are free, but players must pay for add-ons or extra lives.
King offers 180 games in 14 languages through mobile phones, Facebook and its own website, but is heavily reliant on Candy Crush, which brings in about three-quarters of its revenues. The company says its games are played more than 1 billion times a day.
The company, founded in Sweden in 2003, said it has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "KING".
JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are lead underwriters for the offering.
(Reporting by Aman Shah and Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)