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Game over: Debevoise, A&O and Fenwick & West lead on Candy Crush maker’s sale for $6bn

Debevoise & Plimpton, Allen & Overy (A&O) and Fenwick & West have scored roles advising video game maker Activision Blizzard on the acquisition of Candy Crush creator King Digital Entertainment for $5.9bn – one of the largest deals in the fast-growing interactive entertainment industry.

The acquisition will create one of the world’s largest entertainment networks with over a half a billion monthly active users in 196 countries.

Under the agreement, ABS Partners – a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard – will acquire all of the outstanding shares of King Digital at $18 per share, for a total equity value of $5.9bn.

The acquisition is expected to generate over $36bn of revenue by the end of 2015 and grow by over 50% in the next four years.

Debevoise was lead M&A counsel for the deal with a team led out of New York by its corporate chair Jeffrey Rosen and co-head of M&A William Regner. Finance partner David Brittenham, benefits chair Lawrence Cagney, tax partner Gary Friedman and corporate partners Paul Rodel and Jeffrey Ross also worked on the transaction.

Activision Blizzard turned to A&O for advice on competition aspects in the EU, led by antitrust partner Dirk Arts, alongside Irish firm Mason Hayes & Curran.

Dublin-based King instructed Irish firm William Fry with US advice from tech firm Fenwick & West.

The deal is the latest in a series of tech deals for A&O, which recently won a role advising IT company CSC on its merger with US public sector tech outfit SRA to create a company with $5.5bn in revenues and billed as the ‘largest pure-play IT services provider serving the US government sector.’

A&O has been active in the financial technology arena, working on a raft of IPOs including Worldpay, Equiniti, Funding Circle and Softcat.