More OMGPOP-sized deals to come from Zynga, says CEO Mark Pincus
Cottle leading acquisitions team
After acquiring Draw Something developer OMGPOP for $180 million, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has said he expects his firm to make further deals on a similar scale over the course of the next three to five years.
Pincus made the admission to Bloomberg, telling the site that the firm is looking to find "great, accomplished teams that share our mission and vision."
The man charged with making those deals is Barry Cottle, poached from rival EA Interactive at the start of 2012.
Amid stiff competition from rivals such as EA, Disney, GREE, and others, it is hoped that Cottle and his team can accelerate the speed at which Zynga can act on opportunities.
"We pride ourselves on being able to move fast," Cottle boasted.
"Not because we’re not thorough, but because we have a pretty strong playbook when it comes to doing acquisitions."
It's a strategy that suggests Zynga is able to court acquisition targets with even greater efficiency than before.
Neither speed nor money is everything when it comes to picking up targets, however. The suggestion is Zynga made a $2 billion pass at Angry Birds developer Rovio – a move rejected by the Finnish firm.
Nevertheless, Cottle is upbeat about Zynga's strategy going forward.
"We're sitting in a very advantageous position. We have a significant amount of cash, we have no debt, and we have access to debt to be as aggressive as we need to be," he added.
Whether the company can actually hold on to that talent once it's acquired is another matter. Bloomberg reports the founders of at least six startups acquired by Zynga subsequently left the company.
Zynga hopes that the offer of shares which vest over two years - which cannot be sold during that period and are lost if the individual in question leaves - will tie employees to the company, and it's attempting to ensure that each studio retains its identity after a buyout.
"We bring a ton of people in to listen and understand what’s really religious about their organisation," Cottle explains.
"It’s important that the secret sauce does not change after they become a part of Zynga."
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