'Candy Crush' maker King to go public

King Digital, the company behind the wildly mobile game “Candy Crush Saga,” is scheduled to make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this week.
By BARBARA ORTUTAY, Associated Press Published: March 25, 2014

King Digital, the company behind the wildly mobile game “Candy Crush Saga,” is scheduled to make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this week.

The company could be valued as high as $7.6 billion if its initial public offering prices at $24 per share, the upper end of its expected range. That’s nearly twice as much as its closest rival Zynga Inc., the creator of “FarmVille.”

Unlike Zynga, however, King is profitable and has less than a third of Zynga’s employee base.

The company is offering 15.5 million shares. Existing shareholders are offering another 6.7 million. King expects proceeds of $326 million from the IPO.

King, based in Dublin, Ireland, generated revenue of $1.88 billion last year. That’s more than 10 times its 2012 revenue of $164.4 million. Zynga’s 2013 revenue was $873.3 million.

Zynga clone?

Still, some analysts have wondered whether King is destined to become another Zynga, which was also riding a wave of popularity when it went public in 2011, thanks to “FarmVille.”