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 Zynga Said to Plan IPO With $10B Valuation

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PostSubject: Zynga Said to Plan IPO With $10B Valuation   Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:24 am

Zynga Inc., the biggest maker of games on Facebook Inc., is seeking a valuation of as high as $10 billion in an initial public offering, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Zynga plans to raise about $900 million by selling shares at about $8 to $10 apiece, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. Zynga would sell 10 percent or fewer of its outstanding shares, which are scheduled to be priced on Dec. 15, the person said.

At $10 billion, Zynga would be valued at below the $14.05 billion that the company said in regulatory filings represents its fair value. Zynga would also be the second-largest U.S. game company after Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI), which has a capitalization of $14.2 billion. Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS), which bought Zynga rival PopCap Games in August, has a market value of $7.69 billion based on yesterday’s close.

Zynga would be valued at as much as 9.8 times trailing 12- month sales, compared with about 3 times for Activision and 2 times for Electronic Arts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dani Dudeck, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Zynga, declined to comment.
Paying Customers Climb

Under Chief Executive Officer Mark Pincus, Zynga aims to capitalize on the popularity of social networks and virtual goods. The company lets users play games for free and then makes money by selling items -- say, a townhouse in “CityVille” or a shipyard in “Empires & Allies.” Zynga is pressing ahead with IPO plans even as other Internet companies that recently sold shares, including Groupon Inc. and Angie’s List Inc., get hammered. Both were trading yesterday below their offer prices.

Founded in 2007, Zynga has hired Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to manage the IPO. Zynga’s shares will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ZNGA.

Zynga updated its filings on Nov. 4 to show that 6.7 million of its users were paying customers in the first nine months of the year, up from 5.1 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue more than doubled to $828.9 million.

The worldwide virtual-goods market will more than double to $22.5 billion in 2015 from $9.27 billion last year, according to Lazard Capital Markets.

To help it add more customers hungry for virtual goods, Zynga is stepping up spending on research and marketing -- which in turn is crimping profit. The company posted $30.7 million in net income in the nine months that ended in September, down from $47.6 million a year earlier.
Dependent on Facebook

In October, Zynga announced a new service, called Project Z, geared toward reducing its dependence on Facebook users. The company also introduced new games, including “Zynga Bingo,” “CastleVille” and “Hidden Chronicles.”

Ninety-three percent of Zynga’s third-quarter revenue was generated on Facebook, the world’s most popular social network. That number has ranged between 91 percent and 94 percent since the beginning of last year, according to Zynga filings.

Adding more mobile games is part of Zynga’s plan to diversify. The company said in November that the number of daily active users on mobile devices increased more than 10-fold from November 2010 to September 2011, reaching 9.9 million. By October, the number was 11.1 million.
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PostSubject: Re: Zynga Said to Plan IPO With $10B Valuation   Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:12 am

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