Zynga’s $560 Million Acquisition of Small Giant Games


White & Case LLP has advised Zynga Inc., a social game developer, on its agreement to acquire 80 percent of mobile game developer Small Giant Games for US$560 million.

The transaction is expected to close effective as of January 1, 2019 and Zynga will purchase the remaining 20% of Small Giant over the next three years at valuations based on specified profitability goals.

Zynga is responsible for developing well-known games, such as Words with Friends, FarmVille and CSR2 Racing. The acquisition brings to Zynga a talented team who created the hit mobile game, Empires & Puzzles.

Empires & Puzzles is a popular role-playing game that blends approachable Match-3 battles with deeper gameplay elements including Hero Collection, Base Building and Social Alliances. Since its launch 18 months ago, the game has repeatedly broken into the Top 10 Grossing Games on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Empires & Puzzles has been downloaded over 26 million times and expands Zynga’s international and Android audiences.

Zynga plans to share its studio operations and publishing organization expertise to Small Giant, with a focus on achieving greater levels of success and scale through improved user acquisition, advertising, network support and platform partner relations.

The San Francisco–based Zynga was founded in 2007 with a mission to connect the world through games, and has since attracted more than one billion players to its games across mobile and web platforms.

White & Case advised with a team including Bijal Vakil (Picure), Janko Lindros (Helsinki), Gavin Weir (London) and Lindsey Canning (London), along with associates Heidi Blomqvist, Emma Nyyssölä, Essi Lavikkala and Micke Kari (all Helsinki), Elodie Gal (New York), Marika Harjula (Brussels), Erika Games, Chris Beardmore, Aditya Ralhan and Akito Watkin (all London).

Involved fees earner: Christopher Beardmore – White & Case; Heidi Blomqvist – White & Case; Lindsey Canning – White & Case; Elodie Gal – White & Case; Erika Games – White & Case; Marika Harjula – White & Case; Micke Kari – White & Case; Essi Lavikkala – White & Case; Janko Lindros – White & Case; Emma Nyyssölä – White & Case; Aditya Ralhan – White & Case; Bijal Vakil – White & Case; Gavin Weir – White & Case;

Law Firms: White & Case;

Clients: Zynga;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti