Technology StocksZynga, Inc.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (89)11/29/2011 3:24:52 PM
From: purecntry5
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To: purecntry5 who wrote (90)11/29/2011 3:37:36 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
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They are fighting the clock. They need to get it out before the IPO window shuts for the holiday season. Who knows where the market will be in January.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (91)11/29/2011 3:58:03 PM
From: purecntry5
   of 343
Yep, should open for trading Dec 15/16

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To: purecntry5 who wrote (92)11/30/2011 8:24:19 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 343
It looks like Zynga is going to scale back its valuation:

Exclusive: Zynga aims for $10 billion valuation in IPO

By Anthony Hughes and Robert Sherwood
Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:18pm EST

NEW YORK, Nov 30 (IFR) - Facebook games developer Zynga Inc is seeking a lower-than-expected $10 billion valuation for its initial public offering, which is to be priced on December 15, two people close to the process said on Wednesday.

In one of the most highly anticipated deals of the year, Zynga plans to file terms with regulators on Friday for an IPO that would generate around $900 million in proceeds, based on an indicative range of $8 to $10 per share and an initial float of 10 percent, according to the sources.

Zynga spokesman Adam Isserlis declined to comment. In a filing two weeks ago, the company said a third-party analysis had valued Zynga at $14.05 billion.

But that figure would have been too ambitious in these rocky market conditions, analysts said. Video game heavyweight Electronic Arts Inc has a market value of $7.69 billion while Activision Blizzard Inc has a market cap of $14.21 billion.

"I think they must have realized that getting $14 billion or higher would be a tough thing in this market. We were wondering how they would pull that off," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.

Zynga rose to prominence on viral games such as "Farmville," which is still among one of the most popular games on the Facebook social network. While its games are free, Zynga makes money from selling virtual items such as tractors and weapons that people use in its game worlds.

The company is profitable, but its cash flow growth slowed in the September quarter as expenses increased due to investments in new games. Nonetheless, Zynga is on track to become one of the fastest Silicon Valley companies to achieve more than $1 billion a year in revenue.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said Zynga could command a higher valuation if it waited until 2012 to go public.

"They should file their December quarter financials first. People will pay for growth," he said, adding that recently released games such as "CastleVille" are doing well and that revenue has not been recorded yet by the company.

The social gaming leader follows in the footsteps of Internet companies Groupon Inc and Angie's List in testing public markets. Facebook itself is gearing up to go public next year.

Nexon, another game publisher that makes free games and sells virtual items, is planning to list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Dec 14 and raise an amount that equals $1.3 billion in U.S. dollars.

Some analysts have expressed concern over Zynga's heavy reliance on Facebook as the main platform for its games. Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of any revenue earned on its social network, the world's largest.


Zynga Chief Executive Mark Pincus will lead presentations to potential investors starting next week, along with Chief Operating Officer John Schappert and Chief Financial Officer David Wehner, Reuters reported earlier this week.

Another source familiar with the matter said Pincus will not sell shares in the IPO, and neither will Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Zynga's main venture capital backers.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are lead bookrunners on the deal, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, JP Morgan and Allen & Company also named in the syndicate.

Underwriting committees at the banks involved are finalizing their participation in the offer.

The $900 million figure is shy of the $1 billion Zynga had registered for on July 1, but underwriters could ultimately increase the size of the deal based on demand, sources said.

The time table suggests the banks will opt for a standard nine-day roadshow, paving the way for a Nasdaq debut on December 16.

Zynga's games have 54 million daily active users and 227 million monthly active users in 175 countries, mostly via games on Facebook.

Founded in 2007, the company increased its annual revenue from $19.4 million in 2008 to $597.5 million in 2010, and generated revenue of $828.9 million in the nine months to September 30. Over the same period, net income was $30.7 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $235.5 million.

(Reporting by IFR's Anthony Hughes and Robert Sherwood; Additional reporting and writing by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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To: purecntry5 who wrote (92)12/2/2011 9:44:21 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 343
The initial pricing on the Zynga offering is $8.50 to $10.00 per share.

The new amendment:

Zynga IPO values company as high as $9.04 billion

Fri Dec 2, 2011 8:38am EST

(Reuters)- Zynga Inc plans to sell an 11.1 percent stake in a scaled-back initial public offering that would value the Facebook game maker at as much as $9 billion on a fully diluted basis.

The leading social games maker plans to sell 100 million new shares at between $8.50 and $10 each, according to a U.S. regulatory filing on Friday.

At the midpoint price, the IPO could raise $925 million, which would make it the largest from a U.S. Internet company since Google Inc raised $1.7 billion in 2004.

Five-year-old Zynga made its name on viral games such as "FarmVille," among the most popular on the Facebook social network. While Zynga's games are free to play, the company makes money from selling virtual items -- such as tractors and weapons -- that players then use.

Based on a fully diluted share count of 904 million, which includes existing shares and stock options, the IPO price values Zynga at $7.7 billion to $9.04 billion.

In a filing two weeks ago, the company said a third-party analysis had valued it at $14.05 billion. While the valuation has been cut, Zynga would still be among the largest publicly traded U.S. game developers after it debuts on Nasdaq under the "ZNGA" symbol.

Video game developer Activision Blizzard Inc currently has the industry's highest market value of $14.2 billion, followed by Electronic Arts Inc at $7.7 billion.

Zynga's debut will follow IPOs this year from Groupon Inc and LinkedIn Corp, which helped revive a market that had sputtered in recent years. Facebook is gearing up to go public next year.

Mark Pincus, a serial entrepreneur before he founded Zynga, will hold a class of shares with 70 times more voting power than the regular stock that will be sold in the offering.

Google, one of the early investors in Zynga, will be offering about 1.7 million shares, according to a regulatory filing. Other companies selling shares include Institutional Venture Partners and Union Square Ventures

Deep-pocketed rivals from Walt Disney Co to Electronic Arts are starting to muscle in on Zynga's turf.

The company said its IPO represented 14.3 percent of 699 million common shares, excluding restricted stock.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York and Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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From: Sr K12/5/2011 12:54:01 PM
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From: Glenn Petersen12/5/2011 5:14:29 PM
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Zynga Rival in Japan Prices $1.2 Billion I.P.O.

New York Times
December 5, 2011, 10:49 am

TOKYO – The online game company Nexon, a fast-growing Asian rival to Zynga, on Monday set the price for its initial public offering at 1,300 yen a share, a debut that could value the company at 560 billion yen, or $7.2 billion.

The public offering by Nexon — on track to be the biggest Japanese I.P.O. this year — underscores investor confidence that online game companies will continue to grow despite a cloudy outlook for the global economy. Nexon is expected to go public on Dec. 14 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Founded in South Korea in 1994, Nexon has been a pioneer in developing free online games that users can access at no charge, but must pay for virtual goods like clothes and tools for their avatars.

Zynga, which has grown rapidly by developing such games on Facebook, set its price range last week. The offering, which aims to raise about a billion dollars, could value the company at $7 billion.

Though that pricing reflects tempered expectations in the I.P.O. market, it will still be the biggest technology offering in the United States since Google in 2004.

In a filing with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nexon said it would price its shares at 1,300 yen, compared with an expected range of 1,200 to 1,400 yen. At that price, Nexon could raise about 91.1 billion yen ($1.17 billion), the largest I.P.O. since the pharmaceutical company Otsuka Holdings raised 160 billion yen in December 2010. It is offering 70,100,000 shares, with an option for its underwriter, Nomura Securities, to sell an additional 5.3 million shares, depending on demand.

The company has hired Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Goldman Sachs to serve as the joint global coordinators for the offering.

Nexon has more than 77 million active monthly users, compared with Zynga’s 260 million. Net profit at Nexon, which employs 3,240 people, mostly in its native South Korea, has nearly tripled in the last two years, to 21.64 billion yen in 2010, according to its filing with the Tokyo exchange. In the same period, revenue has roughly doubled, to 69.78 billion yen.

The company, which plans to use the proceeds to repay debt, build facilities and invest in product development, derives most of its business from Asia. Last year, China and South Korea accounted for 66 percent of revenue.

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From: purecntry512/8/2011 2:49:18 AM
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From: Glenn Petersen12/8/2011 11:53:56 AM
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The Zynga pricing is going to get bumped up:

Zynga Said to Receive Enough Orders to Cover All 100 Million Shares in IPO

By Zijing Wu
Dec 8, 2011 9:42 AM CT

Zynga Inc., the biggest maker of games on Facebook, received enough orders to cover all the shares being sold in its initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the situation.

The people declined to be identified as the process is private. Zynga plans to sell 100 million shares for $8.50 to $10 apiece, according to regulatory filings. The high end of that price range would value San Francisco-based Zynga at $7 billion.

The IPO would be the largest by a U.S. Internet company since that of Google Inc. in 2004. Zynga is offering about 14 percent of its common stock, a larger portion than companies including Groupon Inc., LinkedIn Corp., and Pandora Media Inc. have sold this year in their trading debuts.

Zynga plans to sell 100 million Class A common shares in the offering, which Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) are managing, according to the filing. Dani Dudeck, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment.

More than 90 percent of Zynga’s revenue comes from Facebook Inc., operator of the world’s most popular social-networking site. Facebook itself is considering raising about $10 billion in an IPO that would value the company at more than $100 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said last month.

Zynga plans to list under the symbol ZNGA on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zijing Wu in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at

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From: Glenn Petersen12/11/2011 2:10:03 PM
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Pincus Faceoff With Zuckerberg Shows Fearsome Prelude to Zynga’s IPO: Tech

By Douglas MacMillan
Dec 11, 2011 11:00 AM CT

When Zynga Inc. reached an impasse while negotiating a five-year partnership with Facebook Inc. in August 2010, Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus demanded a one- on-one meeting with Mark Zuckerberg.

The two CEOs ate dinner at the Facebook cafeteria and held a freewheeling discussion until 2 a.m. Over the course of the meeting and two other marathon sessions that followed, Pincus convinced Zuckerberg that Zynga’s games would help Facebook add users and revenue. They forged a deal that threw Facebook’s support behind Zynga, in exchange for a cut of sales.

Pincus’s negotiating prowess -- Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt calls it “fearsome” -- helped put his company on course for a $1 billion initial public offering this month. The challenge now is keeping up that intensity at a publicly held company, where Pincus will contend with more scrutiny and less control over the business he started more than four years ago.

“One of the big questions for anybody going public is, ‘Can they maintain their long-term focus?’” Zuckerberg, whose own company is slated to hold its IPO next year, said in an interview. “I just don’t think that’s a big issue with Mark because he can deal with the pain of any short-term hit to power through and get to where he wants to go. I hope I’m the same way. That’s definitely something I’ve learned from him.”

Persuading investors to bet long-term on Zynga is the next hurdle for Pincus, a veteran entrepreneur and former investment- banking analyst who is attempting to pull off the biggest IPO for an Internet company since Google’s debut (GOOG) in 2004.

Elder Statesman At 45, Pincus is 18 years older than Zuckerberg and twice the age of some startup founders in Silicon Valley. He has started five companies and invested in many more over the past two decades, helping him hone his negotiating skills and attention to analytical detail.

Zynga, founded in 2007, is the culmination of a career’s worth of lessons learned, said Marc Andreessen, a venture capitalist and co-founder of Netscape Communications Corp., who has invested in the startup.

“He has built a machine,” Andreessen said. “Google is a tightly wired business machine. Microsoft (MSFT) is a tightly wired business machine. Apple (AAPL) is too. Zynga is very much in the mold of those other companies.”

Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.

Virtual Goods

Zynga makes money by offering games for free and then charging for virtual items, such as a puppy in “FarmVille” or an assault rifle in “Mafia Wars.” About 6.7 million of Zynga users were paying customers in the first nine months of the year, up from 5.1 million a year earlier. Revenue more than doubled to $828.9 million in the period. Unlike Groupon Inc. and some other recent IPOs, Zynga is profitable, though its net income has decreased this year as Pincus steps up spending on overhead, marketing and product development.

Pincus also has clashed with board members and employees over his career. He has alienated some Zynga staffers by pushing them to work long hours. A few employees were asked to return unvested equity because their potential rewards didn’t match what they were contributing to the business, said Roger Dickey, one of the first 30 workers at Zynga and the creator of “Mafia Wars.”

“Mark didn’t get where he is by being a softie,” said Dickey, who left the company earlier this year and now works as a startup investor.

‘Every Horrible Thing’

Pincus has said himself that he went too far at times, especially in Zynga’s early days.

“I did every horrible thing in the book just to get revenues,” including giving users virtual credits in exchange for downloading software that was later difficult to delete, he said during a talk in 2009 in Berkeley, California.

“He has a reputation for being an a--hole,” said Alex St. John, president and chief technology officer at Hi5 Networks, a social-gaming site. St. John adds that he hasn’t met Pincus and doesn’t share this view.

Dani Dudeck, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Zynga, declined to make Pincus available for comment on this story, citing the pre-IPO quiet period mandated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pincus grew up in Chicago’s affluent Lincoln Park neighborhood, the son of an architect mother and a father who worked as a public-relations adviser to CEOs and politicians. After studying economics at the University of Pennsylvania, he took jobs in banking, working at Lazard Freres & Co. and Asian Capital Partners, an investment bank based in Hong Kong. He then went on to get an MBA at Harvard University with the idea of going back into the business world on his own.

Dot-Com Era

Pincus moved to San Francisco in 1995 to capitalize on the beginnings of the dot-com boom. He persuaded venture capitalist Fred Wilson to invest $250,000 in FreeLoader Inc., an Internet service for personalized news that Pincus founded with his friend, Sunil Paul. Wilson gave Pincus a few months to make back his money. After seven months, FreeLoader was sold for $38 million to Individual Inc., a company that delivered news online.

Pincus’s next startup was Inc., which helped businesses diagnose and fix problems with computers from remote locations. Founded in 1997, it went public in 2000.

Pincus left his CEO post -- and, eventually, the company -- amid tension with the board, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Zynga’s Dudeck declined to comment on the matter.

Unauthorized Projects

When the board brought in former Hewlett- Packard Co. (HPQ) executive Radha Basu as the new CEO, Pincus asked engineers to work on weekends so he could give them projects not authorized by Basu, said one of the people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named.

After, Pincus focused on investing in new startups, including Brightmail Inc., Napster Inc. and Friendster Inc. In 2000, he bought Eric Schmidt’s airplane, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza, and devoted more time to his hobby of flying. He also invested in a movie, 2001’s “Kissing Jessica Stein,” which grossed more than $7 million on a $1 million budget, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Pincus made an early bet on the social-networking craze when he started Tribe Networks Inc. in 2003. Though the company was sold to Cisco Systems Inc. in 2007 before gaining wide popularity, it helped established Pincus as a predictor of technology trends, said Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Inc.

Social Experience

“He has been doing social for almost a decade,” said Benioff, whose company now provides software to Zynga. “He was doing social when Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school.”

Pincus first met Zuckerberg in 2004, after Peter Thiel put out a call asking if any of his friends wanted to invest in Facebook. Aside from Reid Hoffman, the founder and chairman of LinkedIn Corp., the only person to go along with Thiel was Pincus.

“He had a pretty good intuition early on that this would grow into something,” Zuckerberg said.

After investing in Facebook, Pincus used Zynga to double- down on that bet. Facebook had just opened its site to outside developers, letting Zynga offer its “Texas HoldEm Poker” game to the social network’s burgeoning ranks of users.

Pincus staffed his company with managers skilled at analyzing data. Unlike traditional game developers, which spend millions of dollars producing a game and then ship it out, Pincus continually tinkers. The idea is to get users to play for longer periods and spend more money on virtual items.

Voting Power

This year, in a move that might help Pincus avoid a reprise of the board tension at, Zynga revamped its stock structure to give him 70 times more voting power than shares sold in the IPO. The change grants him more influence than other Silicon Valley founders, including Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who hold 10 times the voting power of investors.

Pincus often gets his way outside the boardroom as well, said Google’s Schmidt. In the summer of 2009, Pincus was seeking a partnership that led to Google buying a 3 percent stake in Zynga. When Pincus came to the negotiating table, he personally knew more about the proposed deal than everyone on the Google side of the table combined, according to Schmidt.

“He is a we’re-going-to-make-this-happen-or-else type of person,” Schmidt, who was Google’s CEO at the time, said in an interview. “He is a fearsome, strong negotiator.”

‘What About Us?’

In January of this year, when Twitter Inc. was negotiating with San Francisco to get a tax exception, Pincus sought the same terms.

“He said, ‘That’s good for Twitter, but what about us?’” Ed Lee, mayor of San Francisco, said in an interview.

Pincus helped organize a meeting at city hall with other technology executives, including Yelp Inc. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, Riverbed Technology Inc. CEO Jerry Kennelly and prominent angel investor Ron Conway, along with representatives from about 30 other companies based in the city. Pincus led the group in pushing Mayor Lee to repeal the citywide tax, all but threatening to move Zynga out of the city if the tax remained, according to Lee.

“He said he would make it really hard for us to continue with the plans we would like to have here about expansion and about permanency,” Lee said. “I understood what he meant.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at

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