Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment Oy is considering filing for an initial public offering (IPO) as early as next month, sources close to the company's operations said on Monday, adding that the Espoo, Finland-based firm is looking for a valuation of approximately $2 billion in an effort to raise around $400 million from investors. The company reportedly hired a number of banks which are now consulting it on the matter including Deutsche Bank AG, Carnegie Bank A/S, and Danske Bank A/S. No final decision on the possibility of going public has yet been made as Rovio's top management is still considering all pros and cons of making such a move and could ultimately opt to delay its IPO, sources familiar with the situation said.
Originally founded in 2003, Rovio was investing in a wide variety of entertainment software — mostly mobile games — for years before finding massive success with its Angry Birds franchise in late 2009, thus being responsible for the first truly global app hit in the smartphone era. While the original Angry Birds puzzler was the firm's 52nd app, it was the first one that really made a massive profit and started a franchise that Rovio maintains to this date. Even though the Angry Birds mobile games now aren't as popular as they were half a decade ago, the firm successfully transitioned this IP to other markets, most notably by making the Angry Birds Movie with Sony's Columbia Pictures which debuted in mid-2016 to significant success, having earned around $350 million on a $73 million budget. Some industry watchers are now speculating that the Finnish entertainment company is mainly considering filing for an IPO because it's seeking to raise funds to finance the Angry Birds Movie 2 which was already confirmed last summer and should move into production in the near future, having been slated for a 2019 box office debut.
Seeing how Rovio managed to bounce back from its major 2015 loss and post a profit of approximately €17.5 million ($20.65 million) for the fiscal year 2016, in addition to reorganizing itself by streamlining its operations, this is the best opportunity the firm had for an IPO in years, though it remains to be seen whether the Angry Birds maker now finally decides to go public after nearly 14 years in the business.