Ready for this week’s tale of someone turning down an absurd mountain of money in exchange for their company?
According to a report by the New York Times, Rovio — makers of the Angry Birds series (and the accompanying heap of Angry Birds merchandise so plentiful that they’ve started opening up retail stores) — turned down $2.25 billion this past summer. The would-be buyer? Zynga.
While the report is unconfirmed by Rovio (and Zynga can’t comment, as they’re in the pre-IPO quiet period), the Times cites three sources “briefed on the situation”. The report goes on to add that Zynga also failed to acquire PopCap Games (of Plants Vs. Zombies and Bejeweled fame), with the company rejecting an offer of $950 million… which, considering that they got snatched up by EA for up to $1.3 billion shortly thereafter, was probably a good choice.
Rovio has been quite successful in dominating the mobile games space for some time now, and the company has always been quite clear with their plans to evolve into a major media house. But man, $2.25 billion is a lot of plush toys.
While I’ve got no direct insight as to why Rovio (might have) turned down two billion dollars, you have to assume it’s at least partially because of a clash of cultures. Zynga is a company that has made their riches by nickel-and-diming players for the most trivial of virtual goods. Rovio, meanwhile, throws out massive content updates in rapid fire, often free of charge. Those two mindsets don’t exactly mesh well, even when billions of dollars are involved.