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Wednesday, 19 February 2014 12:39

Candy Crush outfit heads for IPO

Written by Nick Farrell



We sense a bubble out to burst here

Mobile phone game maker King, which is more famous for its "Candy Crush Saga," is planning a U.S. stock market debut that some analysts think could value it at more than $5 billion and herald a flurry of technology company listings.

Analysts question whether King can maintain its breakneck pace of growth, particularly given the difficulty of some other games makers in maintaining success and there are fears that too many tech outfits are rushing to the public for money. Dotcom tech bubbles are legendary in this industry. Zynga, the creator of "Farmville," has seen its share price halve since its initial public offering in late 2011, while Finland's Rovio has struggled to replicate the success of its 2010 hit "Angry Birds."

Candy Crush Saga involves moving candies to make a line of three in the same colour, was the most downloaded free app of 2013 and the year's top revenue-grossing app. It has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012. The basic games are free, but players must pay for add-ons or extra lives.

The IPO prospectus offered a first glimpse into King's moneymaking machine, which generated $1.9 billion in revenues in 2013, or $5 million a day. It posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $825 million in the year, up from $28.5 million in 2012.

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