Chinese Internet giant Tencent today announced it had agreed to buy Finnish game-maker Supercell Oy, creator of “Clash of Clans”, from Japanese mobile giant SoftBank for $8.6 billion.
“The board is pleased to announce that on 21 June 2016, the consortium…has agreed to acquire a majority equity interest in Supercell,” a Tencent statement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange said.
Supercell is the creator of hugely popular mobile games “Clash of Clans”, “Hay Day” and others.
The Chinese Internet giant said it would pay the multi-billion dollar sum in three installments, adding that the game-maker’s management will maintain operational independence and that it will continue to be based in Finland.
The announcement came as Japan’s SoftBank rushes to improve its balance sheet, including selling at least $7.9 billion worth of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Led by colourful Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, SoftBank has picked up an assortment of firms in recent years, including its $16 billion purchase of US-based mobile giant Sprint.
SoftBank bought a 51-per cent stake in Supercell for some $1.53 billion in 2013, before increasing its stake to about 73 per cent in 2015.
However, the buying spree has put pressure on SoftBank’s finances.