Zynga to buy majority stake in Small Giant Games for $560 million

The Zynga logo is pictured at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California on April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

(Reuters) – game FarmVille-maker Zynga Inc (ZNGA.O) said on Thursday it would buy 80 percent of the shares in Empires & Puzzles publisher, Small Giant Games, for $560 million in a move to strengthen its gaming portfolio.

Zynga said it would buy the remaining 20 percent of the Helsinki, Finland-based mobile game studio for the next three years in the valuations on the basis of the specified profitability goals.

The cash-and-stock deal, expected on Jan. 1, follows Zynga’s announcement last year to buy Peak Games, the home of successful games such as “Spades Plus” and “Gin Rummy Plus”, for $100 million.

The company, a deal with Little Giant is expected to improve the profitability in 2019 and beyond.

The growing popularity of Zynga games, including “Words With Friends”, “Merge Dragons!” and “CSR2” during the holidays, prompted the company to increase its fourth-quarter revenue forecast.

Zynga increased the revenue forecast of $243 million euros, from a previous expectation of $235 million, while the net loss forecast was lowered to $1.5 million from an earlier outlook of $2 million.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru and Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by James Emmanuel

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