Angry Birds creator says IPO needs longer to hatch

HELSINKI Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:05pm EST

Actress Lisa Kudrow announces that the game Angry Birds has won Best Mobile Game award at the 15th annual Webby Awards in New York June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Actress Lisa Kudrow announces that the game Angry Birds has won Best Mobile Game award at the 15th annual Webby Awards in New York June 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - The Finnish creator of the global smash-hit Angry Birds computer game will not join the stock market this year but still aims to eventually seek a listing, its marketing chief said on Thursday.

Angry Birds, in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs that try to steal the birds' eggs, has been downloaded more than 600 million times since its 2009 launch and turned small Finnish gaming firm Rovio into an enterprise valued at up to $9 billion.

Rovio executives had said it would seek an initial public offering (IPO) in New York or Hong Kong.

"We are not in a rush. This year is way too early for an IPO, there are too many open things, and we are in a very early stage of the Angry Birds lifecycle," marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka told Reuters.

He said Rovio had not decided when or where to list.

"Hong Kong is very interesting, absolutely, but again it is totally dependent on how markets develop. Asia is where all the people are, and future growth," he said.

Rovio is hoping to bring out new Angry Birds game titles this year, and to expand their reach so they can be played on a wider range of gadgets.

"We had a very successful Christmas -- 6.5 million downloads just on Christmas Day," said Vesterbacka.

(Editing by Tarmo Virki and David Hulmes)

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