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Tencent pursuing Rovio buyout - Report

Update: Rovio statement skirts around Tencent buyout, but addresses a "possible" IPO in the future

Update: Rovio has issued a statement in response to reports of it being acquired by Tencent. The Finnish company did not address the acquisition directly, but it did refer to the possibility of an IPO in its future.

The statement, which was obtained by Reuters, said that Rovio and its shareholders, "regularly assess different alternatives to further develop Rovio. A stock exchange listing at some point in the future could be possible in order to support the continued strong growth of Rovio and its strategic targets.

"However, Rovio and its owners have not made any decisions regarding a possible IPO."

Original Story: According to a report in The Information, Chinese investment giant Tencent Holdings is seeking to acquire Finnish mobile games company Rovio. The report cites "people briefed on the situation" and claims that the price tag on the Angry Birds maker could be around $3 billion, but Tencent is not the only suitor and no agreement is in place yet with any bidder.

One of the sources also indicated that Rovio may very well choose to stay independent and opt to go public by the end of the year instead. Should Tencent manage to complete a deal for Rovio, it would give the firm yet another games business to add to its already deep portfolio, which includes Riot Games, Supercell, Miniclip, nearly half of Epic Games, almost a quarter of Netmarble Games, 12% of Activision Blizzard, over 20% of Glu Mobile, 38% of PocketGems, among others.

Tencent's revenues in 2016 jumped up by over 25%, as the company generated more than $10 billion.

As for Rovio, the Helsinki-based company has been going through a transition. It described its 2016 performance as a "turnaround year" as the games division's revenues climbed 40% thanks to Angry Birds 2, Friends and Pop. The animation/entertainment side of Rovio fared well also thanks to the Angry Birds Movie, which was No.1 in 52 countries.

"Our brand awareness is 90% globally. In some countries, it's closer to 100%," said CEO Kati Levoranta back in February.

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James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.