Report: 'Candy Crush Saga' maker King.com readying IPO

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Midasplayer International Holding Co., a.k.a. King.com--the publisher behind mobile and online games including the blockbuster Candy Crush Saga--has hired banks to explore a U.S. initial public offering, sources familiar with the move told The Wall Street Journal.

Insiders said King is in IPO talks with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group and Bank of America, but they cautioned that key details like pricing and timing of the offering have not determined.

"King's success and growth presents numerous opportunities for the business to develop further, and one option would be to take the company public," a spokesperson said. "However, while it's an option for the future, we would not comment on when we could consider making such a decision."

King recently announced it is now seeing 70 million daily players across all platforms including mobile, bypassing social gaming rival Zynga's (NASDAQ:ZNGA) 52 million DAUs. Candy Crush Saga, one of the biggest mobile gaming sensations in recent memory, ranked as the top free application in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store in May as well as the No. 2 revenue-generating iOS app during the period, app analytics firm Distimo reports. Candy Crush Saga is also the most popular app on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), with an estimated 15.4 million average daily users.

King recently announced plans to discontinue its mobile advertising efforts, instead focusing solely on revenue from in-app purchases. "King's #1 focus around delivering an uninterrupted entertainment experience for our network of loyal players across Web, tablet and mobile has unfortunately led to the difficult decision of removing advertising as a core element of King's overall strategy," the company wrote in an email to advertising partners, a copy of which was obtained by TechCrunch. "The executive team has decided to withdraw completely from the advertising business thus, removing all advertising elements within every King game worldwide effective immediately."

The rise and fall of Zynga could dampen investor interest in the King IPO, however. Zynga's shares have plummeted about 70 percent since the company went public in late 2011, dragged down by its failures to translate the success of titles like FarmVille from the Facebook platform to mobile devices.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal article

Related articles:
Candy Crush Saga maker King.com ditches in-app advertising business
King passes Zynga with 70M DAUs across platforms, announces new mobile title
Distimo: Puzzle & Dragons continues to dominate iOS, Android revenues
King.com, Supercell pioneer a new type of app powerhouse

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