Activision spending billions for company behind ‘Candy Crush’

Posted at 8:28 AM, Nov 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-03 09:58:53-05

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — One of the world’s most popular mobile games has a new owner.

Activision Blizzard said Tuesday that it plans to acquire King Digital Entertainment, maker of the popular game “Candy Crush Saga,” for $5.9 billion.

Activision said it will pay $18 for each outstanding King share — a 20% premium over the stock price on Oct. 30., but less than the $22.50 King fetched during its 2014 IPO.

“Mobile gaming is the largest and fastest-growing opportunity for interactive entertainment and we will have one of the world’s most successful mobile game companies,” said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.

Activision is best known for producing traditional games like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty that are played on PCs or gaming consoles. Now it will have a stronger foothold in the mobile gaming industry.

UK-based King was the third-ranked mobile game publisher worldwide on iOS and Google Play in September, according to app analytics site App Annie.

The company’s two current hits are “Candy Crush Saga” and “Candy Crush Soda Saga.” Investors have been worried that King was too reliant on the series, and were waiting for the company to produce another hit.