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Chinese investment firm Tencent, perhaps best known for mobile messaging app WeChat, has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Clash of Clans publisher Supercell in a deal that values the Finnish game company at $10.2 billion.
All said and done, Tencent will own roughly 84.3 percent of Supercell through a wholly-owned consortium. Much of the stake – 72.2 percent, to be exact – will come from Japan’s Softbank.
If you recall, Softbank purchased US-based wireless provider Sprint in 2013. The carrier, which then ranked as the third largest in the nation, has since slid to last place thanks largely in part to an unprecedented marketing push from T-Mobile.
Selling off its ownership in Supercell will allow Softbank to reduce its debt related to the Sprint acquisition. What’s more, the company has reportedly said it plans to offload at least $7.9 billion in shares of Alibaba.
Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell, said they want Supercell to be the world’s best place for creative people to create games. The new partnership, Paananen continued, offers exciting growth opportunities in China where they will be able to reach hundreds of millions of new gamers via Tencent’s channels.
Supercell will remain an independent studio headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and the existing team will continue to run day-to-day operations.
Tencent also owns 100 percent of Riot Games, the US studio behind the popular League of Legends game.
The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of this year pending customary regulatory approval.