Activision Blizzard buys King for $5.9bn

Two of the biggest names in games are to become one.

Activision Blizzard has announced that it will purchase Candy Crush firm King for $5.9 billion (3.8bn), in a deal unanimously approved by both boards.

The sum works out to a value of $18 (11.67) per share for the latter company’s remaining shares – a good fifth higher than King’s closing share price on October 30th.

In the announcement of the deal, Activision said that the acquisition would help it increase its presence on mobile. It expects mobile revenue to hit $36 billion (23.3bn) in 2015, which will then grow by more than half by 2019.

It pointed out that it will now own two of the top five-grossing mobile games in Candy Crush Saga and its sequel, Soda Saga, as well as the most successful console franchise, Call of Duty, and the biggest brand on PC, World of Warcraft. As well as StarCraft, Destiny, Hearthstone, Diablo, Skylanders and more.

Activision’s latest financials pegged its annual revenue at $4.7 billion (3.1bn), while King’s adjusted revenues came in at $2.1 billion (1.4bn). The purchase is predicted to boost 2016 revenue for the new company by around a third.

The deal will finalise in spring of 2016, with King’s CEO, CCO and COO remaining in their current roles.

"The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment," commented Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

"With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before."

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