KKR-backed AppLovin raises $2 billion in IPO -source

(Reuters) – U.S. mobile app and gaming company AppLovin Corp sold shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at the mid-point of its target range to raise $2 billion, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

AppLovin, which is backed by private equity giant KKR & Co Inc, priced 25 million shares at $80 per share, the source said. It had set an IPO target range of $75 to $85 per share.

The IPO values AppLovin at $28.6 billion.

The source requested not to be identified ahead of an official announcement. AppLovin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Palo Alto, California-based company is the latest player in the mobile gaming industry to eye a stock market listing, as demand for video games surges among consumers staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past 12 months, the likes of Playtika Holding Corp, Roblox Corp and Unity Software Inc have gone public.

The IPO represents a big windfall for KKR, which acquired a minority stake in AppLovin in 2018 for $400 million, in a deal which valued the company at $2 billion.

AppLovin abandoned plans to sell itself to Chinese buyout firm Orient Hontai Capital in 2017. A U.S. national security panel shot down the $1.4 billion deal on data security worries.

AppLovin now has over 410 million daily active users on its platform and its apps consist of more than 200 free-to-play mobile games, including Word Connect, Slap Kings and Bingo Story.

The company’s shares are scheduled to begin trading on Nasdaq on Thursday under the symbol “APP”.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, KKR, BofA Securities and Citigroup were among the underwriters of the IPO.

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