HELSINKI: Finnish computer game maker Supercell has sold 51 percent of its shares for 1.1 billion euro ($1.5 billion) to Japanese investors, SoftBank and GungHo, the Helsinki-based company announced on its website on Tuesday.
"This new partnership will accelerate Supercell towards our goal of being the first truly global games company," the company's chief executive Ilkka Paananen said in a statement, announcing the sale.
The Japanese investment provides "a massive selection of strategic resources" which will help Supercell with the distribution of its games to "hundreds of millions of new consumers all over the globe," he added.
The company, a relatively new start-up from 2010, aims to expand into new Asian markets while its new investors see an opportunity to grow globally.
"In our quest to become the no. 1 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," said the founder of SoftBank Masayoshi Son in a statement published online by Supercell.
SoftBank said it provided 80 percent of the financing for the investment and GungHo the rest.
The Finnish game makers is best known for its online strategy game Clash of Clans, where players build their own village and attack other villages.
Finnish computer game analysts were taken by surprise by the massive investment.
"We didn't know anything about it before the announcement, but it's very good news for the Finnish games industry," Koopee Hiltunen, head of the industry association Neogames told AFP, adding that the deal doubled the estimated value of the industry overnight to about two billion euros ($1.35 billion).
According to Neogames's figures revenue from gaming companies -- most of them small start-ups employing altogether about 2,200 -- has tripled in the last year. (AFP)