Candy Crush maker King Digital raises $500 mn in IPO

King Digital Entertainment, the creator of the wildly popular video game Candy Crush, priced its initial public offering at $22.50 per share Tuesday, raising $500 million in its Wall Street debut.

The British game developer sold 22.2 million shares in an offering priced at the midpoint of the $21-$24 range previously targeted.

King will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday under the ticker "KING" with a market valuation of $7.1 billion.

The money raised in the issue could reach $574 million depending on market demand for an additional 3.33 million that could be issued underwriters, the company said.

Established in 2002, King' business has soared in the last two years thanks to the spectacular popularity of Candy Crush, which boasts some 97 million players worldwide, its Tetris-like format requiring players to line up sweets and bon bons through 500 increasingly difficult levels.

The game's popularity has benefited from growth in smartphones and tablets.

However, analysts have cautioned that King's long-term earnings viability remains questionable owing to its business heavily reliant on a single product.

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