Mobile gamemaker King Digital Entertainment Plc, best known for the hit puzzle game Candy Crush Saga, said it planned to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering.
The Dublin-based company had filed confidentially for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in September under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
King offers more than 180 games in 14 languages through mobile phones, Facebook and its own website. The company says its games are played more than 1 billion times a day.
Candy Crush Saga, which involves moving candies to make a line of three in the same color, was the top downloaded free app of 2013, and the year’s top revenue-grossing app.
The basic games are free, but players need to pay for add-ons or extra lives.
Candy Crush Saga has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012.
JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are among the lead underwriters. (link.reuters.com/xax86v)
King plans to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “KING”.
The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.
Update: King received about $69 million in venture capital from Apax Partners and Index Ventures in 2005, with Apax investing close to $63 million and Index putting in $6 million, according to Thomson Reuters. Apax is the company’s largest shareholder, with 57.73 million shares, or 48.2 percent of the pre-IPO shares, the SEC filing shows. Index owns 9.99 million shares, or 8.3 percent of the total.
(Corrects paragraph 3 to say that King offers more than 180 games, not 150 games)
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal and Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr and Sriraj Kalluvila)
Photo: A woman poses for a photo illustration with an iPhone as she plays Candy Crush in New York February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri