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Super sale: GungHo and SoftBank buy 51% stake in Supercell

Super sale: GungHo and SoftBank buy 51% stake in Supercell
Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online Entertainment has partnered with Japanese telecommunications specialist SoftBank to buy a 51 percent stake in Supercell.

The two parties have paid out $1.5 billion for the majority share in the Finnish mobile powerhouse – known for Clash of Clans and Hay Day - effectively representing a quadrupling in Supercell's value during the last seven months.

Details release by SoftBank suggest GungHo paid out for 20 percent of the company, with SoftBank making up the remaining 31 percent.

Next steps

The deal builds on an existing relationship between GungHo and Supercell, which had seen the two developers cross-promote each other's titles in-game, helping the Finnish studio make a mark in the Japanese mobile market.

Indeed, in a blog post by Ilkka Paananen, the Supercell CEO claims the firm's decision to sell the majority share – referred to as a "strategic investment" by Paananen – was motivated by a desire to "accelerate Supercell towards our goal of being the first truly global games company."


Clash of Clans

"The combination of tablets, mobile and the free-to-play business model has created a new market for games, one that will be accessible to billions of consumers, more people than ever before in the history of games," details Paananen.

"At Supercell, one of our greatest aspirations is to become the first truly global games company, one that has a strong foothold in both the West and the East, including Japan, Korea and China.

"We want to build a company that people all over the globe will look back in 30 years and talk about all the great games that we developed and the impact they had on people’s lives.

"This is a lofty goal and getting there takes persistence, passion, and luck – but just as importantly, it takes time, and requires a lot of patience. Even if we have had a pretty good start on our journey, it is still very early days. Creating history takes time."

Global game

The investment, therefore, will provide Supercell both with the resources and the security Supercell needs to cements its position in the global market.

"SoftBank is all about the long term," adds Paananen. "In fact, I have never met anyone who thinks as long term as its founder, Masayoshi Son, does.

"When we first met, he told me he has a 300-year vision, and I thought he was joking until the following day when he ran me through what it actually looks like and it is indeed very real and extremely inspirational.


Paananen and Masayoshi Son

"When you meet someone like Masa you realise what it takes to build a global business that will last forever. It further strengthened my belief that, we are just getting started. As a company, we are 3 years old so we’re only 1 percent done if we plan for the next 300 years."

The blog post also features a comment by SoftBank's Masayoshi Son, where he brands Supercell a "rare and special company,"

"After getting to know Ilkka and some of the team, it became clear to me that you, like us at Softbank, are on a similar long and aspirational journey to shape the future of entertainment for the next hundred years," says Maya.

"This new partnership also takes our collaboration with our good friends at GungHo to the next level. We've had a great collaboration between Puzzle & Dragons and Clash of Clans. They're an amazing bunch of people, and they have a terrific culture.

"It may sound like a detail, but I should also mention that the company that will end up owning 51 percent of Supercell is incorporated in Finland. This is both exciting and important for me personally.

"Although our aspirations are global, our roots and future are very much in Finland. Our operations remain in Finland, our management team remains in Finland and in San Francisco, and we continue to pay taxes in Finland."

[source: TechCrunch]

Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. As PocketGamer.biz editor, he has the pleasure of monitoring the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.

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