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Rovio eyeing IPO in late 2013

The Finnish gaming company Rovio could make an initial public offering (IPO) during the second half of next year, the company’s chief financial officer Mikko Setälä told the Swedish business paper Dagens Industri.

Kuva Rovion Amazing Alex -pelistä.
Alex takes a leap -- but will Rovio? Image: Rovio

In the wake of Facebook’s troubled IPO, Executive VP Setälä says Rovio is in no hurry to go public.

“We’ve prepared an IPO for 2013. But the owners have not made a decision on when it will happen, or even if it will happen. If we go public, it will happen during the second half of next year at the earliest. We don’t have a need to bring in more cash right now,” Setälä told Dagens Industri.

Setälä says Rovio is considering listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq, or perhaps a bourse in Hong Kong or Singapore.

Setälä declined to comment on market estimates that Angry Birds could be worth more than seven billion euros – potentially making it more valuable than Nokia.

“That’s purely speculative,” he said. “We haven’t given out any figures. It would be wrong to do so. We don’t know when and where a stock market listing will take place.”

Latest offering underwhelms

Atomico Ventures, a venture capital firm co-founded by Skype founder Niklas Zennström, holds a 10 percent share in Rovio – but it may be some time before it can cash in on its investment.

Its main owner, Trema International Holding, holds a 70 percent stake. Trema is mostly owned by Kaj Hed, father of Rovio CEO Mikael Hed and uncle of its COO Niklas Hed.

Established in 2003, Rovio hit it big in 2010 with Angry Birds, released late the previous year.

Two and a half years after launching the world’s most popular mobile game, Angry Birds, the company last month released its latest offering, Amazing Alex. It briefly became the number-one paid iPhone app in the US before quickly dropping on the sales charts.

Last year Rovio had a turnover of more than 75 million euros, up from 10 million the year before. About 30 percent of its sales come from toys and licensing deals. Pre-tax profits were just over 48 million euros, a margin of 64 percent.

Rovio, which has just over 400 employees in Finland, China, South Korea and the US, plans to open a games development office in Stockholm this autumn, Dagens Industri reports.


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