‘Angry Birds’ Maker Rovio’s Sale Talks With Israel’s Playtika End, Strategic Review Continues
Takeover talks between Rovio Entertainment, the Finland-based video games company behind Angry Birds, and suitor Playtika, the Israeli group behind casino-style online games and shooting simulator 1V1.LOL, have ended without a deal.
“Preliminary discussions between Rovio and Playtika have now ended,” Playtika said on Tuesday without providing further details.
Rovio made a similar statement. “The board of directors of Rovio continues its strategic review, including preliminary non-binding discussions with certain other parties, in order to reach the best possible outcome for Rovio and its shareholders,” it also added. “There can be no assurance that the strategic review and the preliminary non-binding discussions will result in any cash or other tender offer or any other transaction, or the pricing of any such possible transaction.”
Playtika had in January made a sweetened offer of €9.05 ($9.74) per share, or €683 million euros ($735 million), for Rovio in one of the latest consolidation moves in the gaming business. The non-binding bid, submitted on Jan. 19, amounted to a premium of around 60 percent over Rovio’s closing share price at the time.
Rovio then said on Feb. 6 that its board of directors had decided to launch a strategic review. As part of that, Rovio entered preliminary non-binding discussions “with certain parties,” including Playtika.
Helsinki-listed shares of Rovio dropped more than 2 percent in early Tuesday trading.
The gaming space has been full of consolidation moves. For example, Microsoft is in talks with regulators about its offer to acquire Activision Blizzard, maker of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, for $69 billion. Sony Interactive Entertainment previously acquired, for $3.6 billion, Halo creator Bungie. And Take-Two Interactive Software bought mobile gaming powerhouse Zynga (FarmVille, Words With Friends).
Meanwhile, Playtika earlier this year unveiled plans to lay off around 600 employees, 15 percent of its workforce, as it consolidates studios to focus on its “core products.”
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