Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish software company behind the wildly popular mobile phone game Angry Birds, is trying to arrange funding that would value the company at more than a billion dollars, Bloomberg reported Friday.
An unnamed entertainment company is in private talks with Rovio to take a strategic stake in the game maker, the news agency said. Sources told Bloomberg that Rovio had received and rejected similar offers from institutional investors.
The size of the investment effectively values Rovio at $1.2 billion US, the report said.
A blog posting in the Wall Street Journal speculated that the mystery entertainment company that's kicking Rovio's tires might be Zynga, maker of FarmVille, a popular Facebook game.
Rovio makes more than 20 games that can be played on smartphones or tablets with touchscreens. Angry Birds, first released in 2009, is by far the best known game in the company's stable of digital entertainment offerings.
It has been downloaded more than 300 million times and is the most downloaded paid app in 67 countries, including Canada and the United States.
A collection of Angry Birds stuffed toys has also sold well.
The game requires users to catapult birds, who do look angry, into the fortified castles of a group of green pigs who have stolen the birds’ eggs.
A trial version of the game is free to download. The basic version costs 99 cents and additional content can be purchased. Two other versions of Angry Birds are available for 99 cents and an iPad version costs $4.99.