With Activision Blizzard's (ATVI) $5.9 billion purchase of King Digital Entertainment (KING) , the producer of the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft gaming franchises aims to become a force in mobile entertainment as well.
"We will have one of the largest entertainment networks in the world, with over half a billion monthly average users," Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said during an investor call on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Mobile gaming is a $36 billion market, Kotick said, and the purchase would "enhance our position as the most profitable interactive entertainment company in the world."
Activision on Monday agreed to pay $18 per share in cash for King. Activision expects to close the deal in spring 2016.
Driven by hits Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga, King has more monthly average users than Twitter (TWTR) . Activision instantly would gain popular titles in the fastest-growing gaming segment, but it would rely heavily on a narrow group of titles related to Candy Crush.
While King is profitable, its revenue is sliding. The company generated nearly $2.3 billion in 2014 sales, but Wedbush Securities expected the figure to drop to just under $2 billion this year and to less than $1.9 billion in 2016.
Netting out King's cash, the enterprise value of the deal is $5 billion, or about 6.4 time the target's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Activision plans to pay for the acquisition with $3.4 billion in offshore cash and with debt.
"It gives Activision high-margin digital revenue streams, and it moves the company forward into mobile," Mizuho Securities analyst Neil Doshi said.
The reliance on Candy Crush is a concern, though.