Tencent to buy Clash of Clans maker Supercell from SoftBank

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Beijing: China’s biggest gaming group Tencent Holdings Ltd is to buy a majority stake in Finland’s Supercell, which makes the Clash of Clans mobile game, from SoftBank Group Corp., in a deal valued at roughly $8.6 billion.

Tencent will acquire about 84.3% of Supercell via a wholly-owned consortium, including all of SoftBank’s 72.2% stake, it said on Tuesday. The sale is the biggest ever deal in gaming M&A.

The consortium will open up to co-investors, though Tencent expects to maintain a 50% voting interest, it said.

Clash of Clans, world’s No.1 grossing mobile game last year, is a war strategy game in which players build fortresses, form clans and battle it out with other clans in a Medieval-style fantasy world.

Supercell’s current management will keep their operational independence and the company will remain in Finland, Tencent’s statement said.

For SoftBank, the Tencent deal will mark its third major asset reshuffle in the past month.

SoftBank said the latest sale would yield a return of around 2.9 times its original investment.

It expects to book a 600 billion yen ($5.74 billion) pre-tax profit this financial year from the sale, it said.