Candy Crushed as King.com stock drops 9 per cent on first day of IPO

By Peter Gothard
26 Mar 2014 View Comments
candy-crush

King Digital's IPO doesn't seem to have gone to plan so far, as the mobile game company's public offering on the New York Stock Exchange has seen its stock value plummet by nearly 9 per cent of its initial offering of $22.50 per share, as announced on Tuesday this week.

King, which creates and publishes the wildly popular mobile videogame Candy Crush Saga, had originally stated that it sought a range of $21-$24 for its initial offering when it filed on 12 March 2014, but began trading at $20.50, with value having dipped as low as $19.08 in the first hour of trading today.

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While Twitter and Facebook have eventually been considered to have performed well following their IPOs, King seems, at this early stage, to have more in common with fellow mobile games company Zynga, which went to IPO in 2011, and managed to lose 75 per cent of its value in the 12 months that followed. Zynga had to poach Microsoft's head of interactive entertainment, Don Mattrick, just to try and stay afloat as its share value plummeted from $14.50 to $2.09 in 2012.

King reported annual revenue of $1.9bn for 2013, with a profit of $568m, and averages around 93 million daily users. If it meets the sales it wishes for in shares, it will be valued at around $7bn.

King.com has already been embroiled in various wrangles before seeking to go public. It successfully trademarked the word "Candy" in the EU, which became contested by another games publisher named ZeptoLab, which also uses the word "candy" in its own titles. King also tried to trademark the word "Candy" in the US, but pulled the attempt in February 2014.

King somewhat repeated the attempt with the word "Saga", attempting to prevent a game called "The Banner Saga" from being published.

Meanwhile, King itself has been accused of stealing the name and visual likeness of a five-year-old game named Candyz from Moby Games.

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