- Japanese gaming giant Sega swoops in on Finnish Rovio Entertainment
- Mobile gaming market expansion in Sega's sights
- Sonic the Hedgehog meets Angry Birds in a powerful gaming alliance
Sega, the Japanese gaming behemoth, has just tossed a massive 706 million euro ($776 million) bid to snatch up Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish masterminds behind the wildly popular Angry Birds puzzle game. If the deal goes down, Sega will scoop up every last share and option of Rovio stock, placing a cool 9.25 euros per share, which is a 19% bump from the closing price pre-announcement. The Rovio board is all in, giving their thumbs up for the offer.
Rovio games have been scooped up over 5 billion times – that's a whole lotta downloads! The Angry Birds franchise has also spread its wings, branching out into other entertainment and consumer products. Sega, the Tokyo-based gaming legend, started back in 1960 and is famous for creating the speedy Sonic the Hedgehog and the epic Total War franchises, as well as consoles like the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, which rocked the 90s gaming scene.
So, what's Sega's angle? They're eyeing Rovio to boost their presence in the mobile gaming market, planning to use their live-operated mobile game dev skills to create on-the-go versions of their existing games. The Wall Street Journal had previously whispered that the Rovio deal might hit around $1 billion. Rovio shares shot up 17.8% at 11:00 a.m. London time after the news broke.
Shares of Sega Sammy, the parent company of Sega after its 2004 union with games maker Sammy, dipped 4.2% lower on Monday before the acquisition was revealed. Sega Sammy’s Group CEO, Haruki Satomi, is stoked about the deal, saying the global mobile gaming market is buzzing with potential and that it's been Sega's long-term goal to ride that wave.
Both Angry Birds and Sonic are adored worldwide, and Satomi is confident that this dynamic duo of gaming companies will create "significant synergies" moving forward. Rovio CEO Alexandre Pelletier-Normand echoed the excitement, celebrating the union of Red, the Angry Birds' main character, and Sonic the Hedgehog as two iconic characters that'll take the world by storm.
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