Despite $1.5 billion deal, we're more independent now, says Supercell CEO

Trust is thicker than shareholding

Despite $1.5 billion deal, we're more independent now, says Supercell CEO

Business 101 states that selling a majority stake in your company results in a loss of control. Supercell's CEO Ilkka Paananen begs to differ, however.

And given he's just sold 51 percent of his company for $1.5 billion, we're all ears.

"We're more independent now than we were before," he argues, referring to the deal that sees Japanese telecom/internet outfit SoftBank and Japanese publisher GungHo Online take a majority share in the Finnish developer.

"If you look at the patience with which Masayoshi Son [SoftBank's CEO] runs his business and how he's invested, it's all about the longterm," Paananen adds.

Stronger together

It's something highlighted in the blog post that first revealed the deal, with Paananen talking about Son's 300 year vision.

"I'm still writing it," he jokes, when asked how his new business plan for Supercell is going.

Yet, more seriously, Paananen says one of the things that most impressed him about Son was his long term focus. "I used to think ahead 5 or 10 years at most. He redefined it for me," he says.

Similarly, it was this attitude that - despite its size - made the deal negotiations relatively quick.

"He's a traditional business man. It's not about heavy contracts. More like a handshake," Paananen says.

The result is that Supercell remains headquartered in Finland, paying Finnish taxes and sharing its profits with its employees, as Paananen is keen to point out.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.