Sega, the Japanese video game company that brought us Sonic the Hedgehog, has announced its acquisition of Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish developer behind the wildly popular mobile game Angry Birds, among others. The acquisition is reportedly worth $776 million (EUR 706 million).
This acquisition is expected to give Sega access to Rovio’s massive fanbase of over 5 billion downloads across the globe, as well as its successful licensing business, which spans movies, toys, books, and other products. The move was described as a “friendly takeover,” as Rovio’s board of directors reportedly supported the tender offer.
Sega is already home to some of the most successful video game franchises in history, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Persona, Total War, and Yakuza. By acquiring Rovio, Sega is hoping to “accelerate” its growth in the global gaming market. Sega’s mobile gaming business has traditionally focused on the domestic market, whereas Rovio’s games are well-known overseas.
Sega CEO Haruki Satomi said in a statement, “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… Through the combination of both companies’ brands, characters, fanbase, as well as corporate resources, we are confident that we will be able to create new value for our stakeholders and achieve sustainable growth in the future.”
The gaming industry has seen several billion-dollar acquisitions in recent years. Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, Sony has merged with Bungie for $3.6 billion, and Take-Two Interactive has acquired Zynga for $12.7 billion.
The deal between the two companies is expected to go through by the second quarter of this year. Rovio had previously rejected a $750 million takeover bid from its Israeli peer Playtika Holding Corp in January.