Candy Crush Maker Bought for $5.9B
Activision says deal will give boost to mobile games
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2015 6:11 AM CST
A detail from King Digital Entertainment's online game "Candy Crush Saga" is shown on a computer screen, Monday, March 24, 2014, in New York.   (AP Photo/King Digital Entertainment)

(Newser) – The US video game maker that brought you "Call of Duty/" and "World of Warcraft" says it will buy the maker of "Candy Crush" for $5.9 billion in what the Guardian calls "the biggest takeover of a UK tech company in four years." Activision Blizzard says it will buy Ireland-based King Digital Entertainment at $18 per share in cash—about 16% more than King’s closing price on Monday, though still down $4.50 a share from the company's March 2014 IPO—to help strengthen its mobile games portfolio. King is expected to generate more than $36 billion in revenue by year's end, Fortune notes.

Activision says King—which has 200 games total—will operate as an independent unit, still led by CEO Riccardo Zacconi, reports Reuters. The deal will bring Activision more than 500 million monthly users—60% of whom are female—and could boost revenue and earnings by 30% next year. Since King's games require no gaming consoles, "you have such broad reach," Activision's CEO says. "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to create compelling content for new demographics." The deal should be completed by the spring, but still needs approval from King's shareholders, the Irish High Court, and antitrust authorities.