Rovio CEO considering acquisitions

Mikael Hed says the company will buy if long-term value is right

Rovio CEO Mikael Hed said that the company is prepared to make acquisitions to help its growth, AllThingsD reports.

The Angry Birds developer has achieved enormous success with a single IP, diversifying its business by entering markets related to games like animation and plush toys.

However, with the company suggesting that it might IPO either this year or the next, further growth in the near-term would be desirable.

"That's another one of the areas we are starting to be ready for - acquisitions," Hed said. "It would be very easy for us to just go shopping. To get lasting benefit is the hard part."

Hed claims that he would be "more worried" about the future of Rovio if its entire business was still based on game development. However, even though the company's first game outside of the Angry Birds IP won't be released for "a couple of months," interest in the company remains high.

"It is very regular to get contacted by somebody who wants to know if we are interested [in selling]," he said.

"I would say there are a number of companies that are very active in the acquisition space. Zynga is one of them."

Hed admits that there is a point at which it would benefit the company to be acquired, but Rovio has yet to receive a compelling enough offer. "We are not in a rush to sell," he said.

A significant contributor to that hesitance is finding a suitor that would honour Rovio's values as a company. Hed feels that too many companies view their customers in terms of revenue and nothing more.

"Talking about 'users' is totally wrong. As long as you keep talking about users, you forget they are really human beings," he said. "You are not making (things) for essentially a walking wallet."

On Christmas Day last year, Angry Birds was downloaded 6.5 million times, just 300,000 shy of the total number of mobile phones activated.

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Latest comments (5)

Phil Williams freelance artist, Gobo Games5 years ago
come on D****Y. This company is far to successful and obviously needs to be destroyed
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I'm not sure what benefit there is of acquiring Rovio as a business. Sure there is the angry birds and?
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Jason Sartor Copy editor/Videographer, Florida Today5 years ago
@Dr. Chee Ming Wong: Be careful with that logic, it has no place in this world.
Not with Zynga's IPO giving the company a valuation larger than EA and Activision, Facebook seeking a $100 billion IPO on $1 billion profit (If Apple traded at the same PE ratio that Facebook most likely will debut at, Apple would be valued north of $3 trillion), which is only the size of China's entire economy and more than the $2.8 trillion the U.S. federal government takes in each year.
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ5 years ago
I very much respect his reticence to sell. I think it's hard to maintain your same sense of pride, and personal identity once you are bought by a larger company, and things always change once you've been acquired.

Rovio have made MANY good games. Some of my favorite JAVA games from yesteryear were by Rovio... their Darkest Fear franchise, and Star Marine were EXCELLENT.

I'd love to see them continue with their great sense of fun and quality. And that's best done when they remain in charge of their day-to-day business and sticking to their values.

As for acquiring other companies, well the same rules apply from above in some ways, but I guess to be acquired BY Rovio would not be the worst thing in the world. And perhaps they would be good managers. Who knows? :)

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Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire5 years ago
They've been incredibly smart and incredibly lucky at the same time - a great combination in a very fractious industry. Knowing the guys, I'm delighted for them. The growth pattern will be tough and I know behind the scenes there's a ton going on - nothing is ever as simple as it seems :-) Finland has really been 'hot to trot' the last few years.
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