NEW YORK — The Finnish creator of “Angry Birds” mobile-phone games may sell shares to the public as early as next year and is probably worth more than $1 billion, its chief marketing officer says.
“We’re not ready to file for an IPO tomorrow,” Rovio Entertainment’s Peter Vesterbacka, who also goes by the title Mighty Eagle, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Maybe a year from now.”
The touchscreen game — in which players use a virtual slingshot to fling birds at structures populated by green pigs — has had 400 million free and paid downloads since 2009, with three fourths of those in the last six months. Rovio is hiring in the United States and China to develop activities such as retail and movies, and is worth more than $1 billion, based on funding talks, people with knowledge of the discussions said in August.
“We’re happy with our valuation but we think it’s probably a bit north of that,” said Vesterbacka. Espoo, Finland-based Rovio, which announced in June it took over Finnish animation studio Kombo, is weighing more acquisitions, he said.
Vesterbacka, 43, previously spent 14 years at Hewlett- Packard selling systems to phone companies and encouraging mobile developers. He discovered the team that would become Rovio in an HP-sponsored games contest in 2003.