A model of Angry Birds character ‘Red’ sits on display inside the reception area of the Rovio Entertainment Oy headquarters in Espoo, Finland, on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
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The deal would be for the entirety of Rovio’s outstanding shares and options, valuing the stocks at 9.25 euros per share, a roughly 19% premium to their closing price before the announcement, Sega said. It’s valuing the options at 1.48 euros.
Rovio’s board is in support of the offer, the company added.
Rovio games have been downloaded over 5 billion times, according to the statement Monday. Meanwhile its Angry Birds franchise has been licensed into other entertainment and consumer products.
Tokyo-based Sega was founded in 1960 and is best-known for its Sonic the Hedgehog and Total War franchises, as well consoles including the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, popular outside of Japan in the 1990s.
It wants to use Rovio to expand its presence in the mobile gaming market and said it would use its live-operated mobile game development capabilities to boost development of mobile-based versions of its existing games.
The Wall Street Journal had previously reported the Rovio deal was expected to be worth around $1 billion.
Rovio shares were up 17.88% at 9:00 a.m. London time.
Shares of Sega Sammy, the holding company of Sega following its 2004 merger with games maker Sammy, closed 4.2% lower on Monday before the acquisition was announced.
“Among the rapidly growing global gaming market, the mobile gaming market has especially high potential, and it has been SEGA’s long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field,” said Sega Sammy’s Group CEO, Haruki Satomi, in a statement.
Angry Birds is “loved across the world,” he said. “I am confident that, through combination of both companies’ brands, characters, fanbase, as well as corporate culture and functionality, there will be significant synergies created going forward.”
Rovio CEO Alexandre Pelletier-Normand said Red, the lead character in Angry Birds, and Sonic the Hedgehog were “two globally recognized and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary companies, with a worldwide reach that spans mobile, PC/console, and beyond.”