Games studio King Digital will become Britain's most valuable publicly listed internet company after being priced at $7.6bn ahead of its IPO. The London games studio behind the mobile hit Candy Crush Saga has seen its valuation soar by $2bn in less than a month. At $7.6bn it will be valued more than four times [...]

Games studio King Digital will become Britain's most valuable publicly listed internet company after being priced at $7.6bn ahead of its IPO.


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The London games studio behind the mobile hit Candy Crush Saga has seen its valuation soar by $2bn in less than a month.
At $7.6bn it will be valued more than four times higher than Take-Two Interactive, the company behind Grand Theft Auto. Analysts had valued King at $5.5bn in February, but the company said on Wednesday its shares would be priced at between $21 and $24 each.
King makes its games available to download for free and most of its money is raised from purchases made during play. Millions have been persuaded to part with £1 for what are called "paid boosters" including lollipop hammers, coconut wheels and extra lives.
Unlike many internet firms joining the stock market or being snapped up by bigger rivals, King has been profitable for four of the last five years, making nearly $570m after tax in 2013 on revenues of $1.88bn.
New data shows that in February, 144 million people were active daily players of King games, reorganising brightly coloured sweets in Candy Crush, bursting their way through levels in Bubble Witch and sorting fruit in Farm Heroes.
King's valuation, which is based on 315m shares priced at $24, comfortably outstrips that of fellow games company Zynga, which was worth $7bn at its 2012 stock market flotation but has seen its fortunes go into reverse.
Its opening price will mean the company is worth about half Twitter's initial valuation.
The company will float on the stock exchange on March 26, when King will sell 15.5 million shares through the offering, while stockholders will sell 6.7 million.