The saga continues: Candy Crush maker to float on US stock market

King, developer of the smash-hit phone app, is expected to raise up to $500m from New York listing

The London games studio behind the hit mobile game Candy Crush Saga has confirmed plans for a stock market float, snubbing the UK in favour of a New York listing.

App developer King hopes to raise up to $500m (£300m) on the New York Stock Exchange this year. The flotation is expected to value King at up to $5bn; its co-founder and chief executive, Riccardo Zacconi, could see his 10 per cent stake in the business valued at up to £300m. The Mayfair-based venture capital firm Apax Partners could make billions from its 45 per cent stake.

It was revealed this month that the former Derby City FC director Mel Morris was also a significant investor in King. The company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission named him as chairman of the company.

News of King's decision to snub London in favour of the US will be a blow for the Government, which has set up programmes such as Tech City UK and Future Fifty to try to stop home-grown tech talent migrating to the US.

King also listed its headquarters as Dublin, even though it has a 25,000 sq ft office near Carnaby Street. Technology firms such as Facebook and Google book sales through Irish offices for tax purposes, and the move could indicate King might do something similar. King declined to comment.

King was founded in London and Stockholm in 2003 by Mr Zacconi, a former management consultant, and Toby Rowland, son of the former Lonrho boss and Observer owner Roland "Tiny" Rowland.

The company originally developed small-stakes gambling games for sites such as Yahoo and MSN, before launching games on Facebook and mobile.

Launched in 2012, Candy Crush Saga has been a runaway success for the company. King, which employs 665 staff, recently revealed that the smartphone game has been downloaded more than half a billion times.

King's filing in America reveals that the game helped propel the company from a loss of $1m in the first quarter of 2012 to $159m profit in the final three months of 2013.

Last year King's revenue was $1.88bn, with $568m in profits. But the company admits that one of the biggest risks to investors is the fact that 78 per cent of all revenues come from Candy Crush.

The filing also revealed that profits and revenues declined between the third and fourth quarters of 2013. Profits fell from $230m to $159m. Across all its games King has 324 million monthly players, with 73 per cent of sales coming from smartphones.

King employs 665 staff and has offices in Stockholm, Barcelona, Bucharest, Malmö, San Francisco and Malta, where its website is domiciled.

Tidy arrangment: ISS to list on market

The Danish firm which cleans the London Underground set out listing plans yesterday and also shunned London, this time for the Copenhagen stock exchange.

ISS, the private equity-owned outsourcer with half a million staff, has already pulled IPO plans twice and ditched a £5.2bn merger with G4S in the face of shareholder opposition. "G4S needed ISS more than ISS needed G4S," Lord Allen, the former ITV boss who chairs the Danish firm, said. "This is an opportunity for [those] who missed out then to invest."

Lucy Tobin

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
The reindeer pen at the attraction
lifeLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' and other winter blunderlands
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Argyll Scott International: Risk Assurance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...

Argyll Scott International: Business Analyst - MGA - London Market - Insurance Broker

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Argyll Scott International: A Business A...

Ashdown Group: PR, Marketing & Events Executive - Southwark, London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: PR Marketing & Events Exe...

Selby Jennings: C++ Developer – Hedge Fund – New York

$80000 - $110000 per annum, Benefits: Bonus and Employee Investment Scheme: Se...

Day In a Page

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'