UK-based firm behind ‘Candy Crush’ plans to go public

The London-based company, founded in Sweden, hopes to raise $500m (£300m) in the IPO later this year, and is expected to be valued at $5bn (£3bn).

Candy Crush has been downloaded more than half-a-billion times since it was launched in 2012. The game itself is free but with in-app purchases generating revenue.

Private equity firm Apax Partners is King’s biggest shareholders, with a 48.2 per cent stake, but the management team also hold around a third of the equity.

Co-founder and CEO Riccardo Zacconi could see his 10 per cent stake valued at $300m (£180m).

There are concerns amongst analysts though, that King could be a one-hit wonder, as it relies on one product to drive so much of its revenue.

Zynga, a similar company, floated in 2011 on the back of the success of its Farmville and Words With Friends game, only to see stocks plummet.

“The market is going to kick back a little bit after the Zynga experience,” Mark Hickey of the Benchmark company told Reuters.

“The challenge then for King is that they can maintain engagement on ‘Candy Crush,’ which is the majority of their performance, and that’s the issue they’ll have to work investors through.”

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