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Apax-backed King Digital Entertainment files for $500m NYSE IPO

19 Feb 2014

stock brokerage market share listedMobile gaming group King Entertainment – best known for its Candy Crush Saga puzzle game – has filed to raise $500m via an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets are acting as bookrunners for the IPO, according to a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

King is backed by investment firms Apax Partners and Index Ventures, which own stakes of 48.2 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively.

Apax and Index invested almost $50m in King in 2005 when it was known as Midasplayer.com. The company filed for a confidential IPO in September last year.

Since then the company has taken smartphone gaming by storm with the Candy Crush Saga app, which is the most popular game played on social media site Facebook.

The company, which will trade under the symbol KING, did not say how many shares it was planning to offer and at what price.

King is seeking to be valued at $5bn in the IPO and start trading on the NYSE in March or April, according to the FT, which cited a source familiar with the matter.

The company’s games were played more than 1.2bn times by an average of 128m daily active users.

Its revenues climbed to $602m in the final quarter of 2013 from only $22m in the first three month period of the previous year.

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