Candy Crush Saga makers King Digital Entertainment Plc, says it expects to price its initial public offering at $21-$24 per share, valuing the company at up to $7.6 billion.
King, which became notorious within the games industry after trademarking and enforcing use of the common word "Candy," saw its revenue grow to $602 million in Q4 2013 from only $22 in the first quarter of 2012. Though King's portfolio features 180 games for mobile devices, Facebook and through its own site, analysts note that most of the company's growth was directly linked to its Candy Crush games and questioned whether King could maintain its growth rate going forward.
"I think the valuation of a P/E ratio of 13 for a high-growth company is indeed reflecting a skepticism about the ability to continue growing at such a rapid pace," professor and IPO expert at the University of Florida Jay Ritter says, according to Reuters. "The ability to come up with future games and get people to pay for the game is a big question mark."
Analysts are quick to compare the high valuation to that of social gaming giant Zynga, which has had its stock price sliced in half since its IPO debuted in 2011 at $10 per share.
According to Reuters, "of the 22.2 million shares on sale in the offering, the company will sell 15.5 million, while stockholders, including Apax Ventures, will sell 6.7 million shares." King's IPO is set to be priced on March 25 and will now begin trading under the NYSE symbol 'KING' on March 26, after recently delaying the plan to prove its worth.
[Image: King Digital Entertainment Plc]