UPDATE: 'Angry Birds' maker Rovio stock soars as much as 7% on first day of trade
By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch
Rovio's main shareholder says the company will seek deals in the gaming sector
Shares of Finnish videogame maker Rovio Entertainment Oy, the creator of the "Angry Birds" franchise, surged as much as 7% on their first day of trade on the Nasdaq Helsinki (http://www.rovio.com/news/nasdaq-helsinki-welcomes-rovio-entertainment) Friday, before retreating to trade close to their issue price of 11.50 euros ($13.52) late in the session.
The stock priced at the top of the initial price range to give the company a valuation of EUR896 million.
Rovio will receive proceeds of EUR (https://www.wsj.com/articles/angry-birds-maker-rovio-sets-pricing-for-1-billion-ipo-1505457044)30 million from the offering, the company said. Kaj Hed, its major shareholder and the uncle of founder Niklas Hed, said the company will seek acquisitions in the gaming sector, telling Reuters (https://www.usnews.com/news/technology/articles/2017-09-29/angry-birds-maker-rovios-shares-in-high-flying-debut)that many industry players are challenged by the cost of going public and may be willing to consider a deal with a partner.
Rovio has a checkered past, enjoying early success thanks to the popularity of "Angry Birds," which was once the dominant mobile game. That allowed it to expand beyond the business of videogame development and become a media and licensing company. But the company has struggled to develop products with similar appeal and has been forced to cut costs and shake up management in recent years.
Read now: Rovio cuts workforce by more than a third (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rovio-cuts-workforce-by-more-than-a-third-2015-08-26)
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rovio-cuts-workforce-by-more-than-a-third-2015-08-26)Its fortunes were revived by the release of "Angry Birds", the film, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rovio-takes-73-million-gamble-on-angry-birds-movie-2016-05-15) in 2016. The film, backed by Sony Entertainment, grossed $107.5 million in the U.S., on a production budget of $73 million, according to Box Office Mojo (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=angrybirds.htm). The characters were voiced by actors including Sean Penn, Jason Sudeikis and Peter Dinklage. The film garnered a 43% rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/search/?search=angry%20birds).