Japanese firms pay $1.9 billion in 'Clash of Clans' game swoop

Japanese firms pay $1.9 billion in 'Clash of Clans' game swoop

HELSINKI - Two Japanese companies have bought control of Finnish computer game maker Supercell for 1.1 billion euros (S$1.9 billion, US$1.5 billion), the Helsinki-based firm said on its website on Tuesday

The Japanese investors SoftBank and GungHo have bought 51.0 per cent of Supercell, known for its game "Clash of Clans".

The transaction, which one source said doubled the value of Finland's game industry overnight, is aimed at exploiting synergies that can help both sides expand globally.

"This new partnership will accelerate Supercell towards our goal of being the first truly global games company," the company's chief executive Ilkka Paananen said in a statement, announcing the sale.

The objective is for Supercell to have a strong foothold both in the West and the East, including Japan, South Korea and China, he said, suggesting the company could become a new Nintendo.

"We want (people to) look back in 30 years and talk about all the great games that we developed and the impact they had on people's lives. The same way I personally feel about Nintendo, for example," he said.

The Japanese investment provides "a massive selection of strategic resources" which will help Supercell with the distribution of its games to "hundreds of millions of new consumers all over the globe," he added.

While Supercell, a relatively new start-up from 2010, aims to expand into new Asian markets, its new investors see an opportunity to grow globally.

"In our quest to become the no. 1 mobile Internet company, we scour the globe in search of interesting opportunities and right now some of the most exciting companies and innovations are coming out of Finland," said the founder of SoftBank Masayoshi Son in a statement.

SoftBank said it provided 80 per cent of the financing for the investment and GungHo the rest.

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