Angry Birds parent Rovio is reportedly in talks to be acquired by Sega for $1 billion

Angry Birds parent Rovio is reportedly in talks to be acquired by Sega for $1 billion
Remember the days when Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds franchise, could say with a straight face that it would be the next Disney and no one laughed. Not only were the Angry Birds mobile games red hot at the time, but the foul fowl also were the stars of two movies, had a theme park in China built around them, and the birds' images were plastered on everything from adhesive bandages to board games.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Sega is close to acquiring Rovio for a price said to be near $1 billion. Those in the know say that the transaction could be announced early next week as long as talks don't fall apart over the weekend.

Angry Birds debuted in 2009 just as the smartphone was on the way to becoming ubiquitous. The goal of the game was to use a slingshot and launch a bird in an attempt to hit one of the pigs on the other side of the screen and destroy them. The pigs are protected by materials such as wood, glass, and stone. When you fling your birds, they often hit some of these protective materials that the pigs are hiding behind before taking out one of the swine.

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The game was simple, yet players could not put it down. Angry Birds became the first mobile game to draw over one billion downloads and Rovio fed the insatiable appetite for Angry Birds by continuing to release 21 more Angry Birds games. Rovio last month ended negotiations with Israel's Playtika Holding Corp. as the pair were discussing a deal valued at more than $800 million. But sometimes things work out for the best as the current talks with Sega reportedly value Rovio at a price 25% higher.

You might wonder whether Rovio is still worth $1 billion as we did. The company has been unable to come up with another franchise that captured the imagination of the smartphone owning public as Angry Birds did. But Sega might have a plan to capitalize on the Angry Birds name and perhaps this makes it worthwhile for Sega to spend $1 billion for Rovio. On the other hand  last year Rovio said that all of its games combined had five billion downloads in total. At $1 billion, the deal would value each download at 20 cents. Perhaps looking at the deal this way makes more sense.

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