Supercell, the publisher of Clash of Clans, soon to be bought by the Chinese Tencent?
Will Supercell soon go under the Chinese flag? According to Wall Street Journal, its main shareholder, the Japanese group SoftBank, would have entered into negotiations with the Chinese Tencent which would like to take a majority stake in the capital of the Finnish publisher of mobile games. Founded in 2010, this Helsinki-based company is behind famous titles like Clash of clans, Clash Royale, or Boom Beach.
Does SoftBank now want to sell all or part of its shares to Tencent? According to the WSJ, discussions are only at an early stage. But such an operation could make sense since Tencent is already present in the video games sector, in particular thanks to the American publisher Riot Games, at the origin of the game. League of Legends, which he owns. In addition, Tencent has a strong mobile presence in Asia, in particular thanks to its WeChat application which has more than 760 million users and from which many services are marketed.
2.1 billion euros in turnover in 2015
As a reminder, it was in 2013 that SoftBank acquired a stake in Supercell as part ofan operation to 1.5 billion dollars, in order to grant 51%. A level still insufficient with regard to his ambitions since, last year, the Japanese increased to 73.2%, for an undisclosed amount.
In any case, it must be said that the activity of Supercell has something to seduce. In 2015, the publisher would have federated more than 100 million players every day, according to its figures. And financially, even if it experienced a slowdown in its growth last year, it generated a turnover of 2.1 billion euros, for an EBITDA of 848 million euros. For its part, the market is also buoyant: mobile games should overtake those on consoles and PC in terms of revenue, according to a study by Newzoo. All the more reason, 47% of the video game industry’s revenues should be generated this year in Asia-Pacific, half of which in China.