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Tencent to buy majority stake from Softbank in ‘Clash of Clans’ developer Supercell : WSJ

Clash of Clans
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Supercell, the developer of the insanely popular MMO strategy video game ‘Clash of Clans’ is currently standing on the cross-roads of a majority stake deal between two of the biggest tech giants globally — Chinese and Japanese.

The Finland-based game developer company, Supercell is currently an independent operation under the wing of the Japanese telecommunication giant, SoftBank Group Corp. SoftBank currently holds a 73.2 per cent stake(for about $1.5 billion) in the mobile game company while the rest of the company is owned by founders and employees. Supercell is currently on track to achieve $3 billion in revenue this year, of which 40 per cent is said to amount to the net revenue.

As Bloomberg reported last week, SoftBank is looking to sell a part of its stake in the Finnish game developer, Supercell Oy to other Chinese firms. But Chinese tech giant Tencent is being considered to be the fore-runner in the race to buy a majority stake in the company. According to Wall Street Journal, the talks between the firms is still at an early stage and it is also not clear that SoftBank is in talks with other firms as well or not.

The mobile gaming company is currently valued at over $6 billion, which means Tencent would have to shell out about 3-4 billion USD to buy a majority(i.e 51 per cent) stake in the game developer. This deal is a tempting one for the Chinese because all the games in the carousel of Supercell are a hit and bringing in strong over $100 million in sales. Tencent President Martin Lau and Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell recently took a trip to Helsinki, Finland to persuade Supercell’s founders to support the sale, reports WSJ.

There has been no comment on the situation from either SoftBank or Supercell on the concerned matter.

Supercell was founded in 2010 has seen staggering growth since its inception in the mobile gaming market with its hugely popular gaming titles such as “Clash of Clans”, “Hay Day”, and “Boom Beach”. It was the initial growth which first attracted Softbank, looking to cement its place in mobile content, in 2013 bought 51 per cent stake in the game developer. SoftBank acquired an additional 22.7% holding in Supercell by purchasing stock held by existing external investors last year.

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