Tencent Nears Deal to Buy Supercell, Maker of Clash of Clans
One of China’s internet giants, Tencent, is near a deal to buy control of Supercell, the maker of the popular Clash of Clans game, in a transaction that would value the Finnish game company at more than $9 billion, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.
知情人士周三透露，中国网络巨头腾讯接近达成收购芬兰手游公司Supercell多数股权的协议，后者是热门游戏《部落冲突》(Clash of Clans)的开发商。在该项收购中，Supercell的估值将超过90亿美元。
If completed, the deal would show the growing might of China’s online behemoths. Tencent, along with Alibaba and Baidu, has become a sprawling empire of internet businesses. With a market value of about $211 billion, Tencent controls WeChat, the popular messaging service in China, as well as a number of online multiplayer games hosted through its QQ portal.
A deal for Supercell would be the biggest takeover by any of China’s so-called BAT trio of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, according to data from Standard & Poor’s Global Market Intelligence.
据标准普尔全球市场情报(S&P Global Market Intelligence)的数据，这项购买Supercell的交易，将会成为百度、阿里巴巴和腾讯——中国所谓的BAT——所完成的最大的一笔收购交易。
Buying Supercell, which has produced a string of mobile game hits with Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Clash Royale, would further bolster Tencent’s presence in the mobile game market. Tencent is already China’s dominant online game company, accounting for about 32 percent of revenue from the country’s online game market in 2015, according to Niko Partners, a research firm. The company also owns Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, a blockbuster PC battle game with an estimated 98.4 million players and $150 million a month in revenue, according to SuperData Research.
收购Supercell这样一家曾出产过《部落冲突》、《Hay Day》和《部落冲突：皇室战争》(Clash Royale)等多个手游的公司，将会进一步扩大腾讯目前在手机游戏市场中所占的份额。腾讯目前已经是在中国占主导地位的网络游戏公司。市场研究公司Niko Partners称，2015年，腾讯从中国的网络游戏市场中获得的收益份额约占32%。除此之外，腾讯还持有Riot Games ——热门电脑游戏《英雄联盟》(League of Legends)的开发商——的控股权。据研究公司SuperData，《英雄联盟》约有9840万玩家，每月收益1.5亿美元。
Supercell is one of a handful of standout successes in the mobile game business, where it has proved difficult for many companies to make money — or at least to hold on to their prosperity. Clash of Clans, Supercell’s best-known game, was introduced nearly four years ago and has remained one of the most popular apps for smartphones and tablets.
On Apple’s App Store, Clash of Clans is currently the fourth-highest-grossing app in the United States, while Clash Royale is No. 7. Both games are free, but like nearly all of the most lucrative mobile titles today, they generate revenue through microtransactions — purchases of virtual currency that help players advance more quickly.
And players buy a lot of virtual goodies from Supercell. In March, the company reported revenue of $2.33 billion for 2015, up from $1.78 billion the previous year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $964 million, up from $592 million. It said at the time that it had only 180 employees, relatively few for a company of its financial scale.
In April, Supercell was making just under $4 million a day in revenue from Clash of Clans, SuperData Research estimates. In 2015, Supercell introduced Clash of Clans in China.
Under terms of the proposed deal, Tencent would buy the roughly 73 percent stake in Supercell that is currently held by SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications provider, said the person who was briefed and who spoke on condition of anonymity. Supercell’s founders would remain at the company.
A representative for Supercell declined to comment. Representatives for Tencent and SoftBank could not be reached.