People Can Fly video games company plans Warsaw IPO

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish video games developer People Can Fly plans an initial public offering in Warsaw this year, as rising valuations of listed gaming companies combined with record-low interest rates and high inflation have attracted investors to the sector.

The Warsaw Stock Exchange GPW.WA has seen turnover decline and has struggled to attract new listings in recent years as companies can often find cheaper funding via other routes.

It has seen two small IPOs this year, both by video games companies, as investors bet on increased interest in gaming during lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus.

People Can Fly has filed an IPO prospectus with the Polish financial market regulator, it said on Tuesday, following a similar announcement by mobile games applications provider Huuuge Inc. a day earlier.

People Can Fly is one of few Polish developers of high-budget, high quality games, known as AAA games, which are designed for personal computers (PCs) as well as Play Station and Xbox consoles.

“The public listing of the company is a major step forward that will strengthen the position of People Can Fly on the global stage for top tier game developers,” Sebastian Wojciechowski, the company’s Chief Executive and majority shareholder was quoted as saying in a statement.

Analysts said that the high valuation of gaming companies listed on the bourse, such as CD Projekt CDR.WA, which has become one of Poland's biggest companies, has convinced more companies from the industry to seek capital from investors.

“I think we can see a significant number of new smaller gaming companies debuting on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. However, there are not too many left from the bigger ones apart from Huuuge and People Can Fly,” said Kacper Kopron, an analyst from Trigon DM.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Barbara Lewis