SoftBank Buys Into Mobile Gaming Company for $1.5B

Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank made U.S. headlines when it bought most of Sprint for $21.6 billion earlier this year, but the company isnEUt out of cash yet. Now it has partnered with its subsidiary GungHo Online Entertainment to buy 51 percent of a Finnish mobile game maker called Supercell Oy for $1.53 billion.

Supercell will continue to operate independently while leveraging SoftBank's strategic resources, and will also officially become a subsidiary. The mobile gaming company is best known for popular apps like Clash of Clans and Hay Day, which have reached top grossing status in AppleEUs App Store in 137 and 96 countries respectively.

EUFrom February 2013 to August 2013, Supercell was the number one publisher in the world among the apps in the games category of the App Store,EU Softbank said in a statement. EUThis new strategic partnership with SoftBank and GungHo will help accelerate Supercell's goal of becoming the EUfirst truly global games company.EUEU

The Smell of Opportunity

Of course, SoftBank has a clear agenda here. With GungHo and Supercell as drivers in content services, the company is moving closer to its goal of becoming the number one mobile Internet company. It looks like one hand is truly washing the other in this mega-deal. Here is some of SoftbankEUs reasoning for choosing Supercell over another mobile gaming company:

EUIn our quest to become the number one mobile Internet company, we scour the globe in search of interesting opportunities and right now some of the most exciting companies and innovations are coming out of Finland,EU said SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son. EUSupercell is one of those rare and special companies.EU

For his part, Ilkka Paananen, SupercellEUs founder and CEO, said the EUcombination of tablets, mobile and the free-to-play business model has created a new market for games -- one that will be accessible to billions...

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