Rovio eyes 2013 Hong Kong IPO


Angry Birds developer Rovio is planning an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2013.

Chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka told Finnish newspaper Tekniikka & Talous that the move would be the first step on Rovio's path to become as big as Disney, which is currently valued at over $65 billion.

"That is the target," Vesterbacka said. "There is no reason why we should not be able to build a company of that size." He went on to say that Rovio's 2011 revenues will total around $100 million, ten times what it made last year, and he believes that growth can be maintained in the years to come.

"This year was a warm-up," he said. "Every year we are going to make ten times more revenue, and more than half of it profit."

Angry Birds passed the 500 million download mark at the beginning of November, just over a month ahead of its second birthday. This year has seen the release of the Seasons expansion and Hollywood tie-in Rio, and 2012 will be even busier: Vesterbacka told the paper to expect five or six new games in the series next year. As for the IPO, it appears Hong Kong appeals because of Angry Birds' popularity in China: Vesterbacka recently said it was the country's most copied brand.

But Angry Birds is now much more than a videogame: it's a true cross-media property. A film remains two to three years away, Vesterbacka says, because Rovio wants it to be "Pixar quality".

Ten million licensed soft toys have been sold already this year, with another ten million expected to be sold by the end of December. "Toy sales are more profitable than the gaming business," he said. "The goal is to sell more than Disney sells Mickey Mouse."