(Bloomberg) -- Zynga Inc. Chief Executive Officer Frank Gibeau said the company has agreed to buy Turkish mobile-game maker Peak for $1.8 billion, marking its biggest acquisition yet.
The deal, which Zynga is expected to formally announce later on Monday, is comprised of $900 million in cash and $900 million in Zynga stock, Gibeau said in an interview. It’s slated to be completed in the third quarter.
The Peak deal will bring Zynga a popular lineup of puzzle games called Toon Blast and Toy Blast. The company is making the acquisition at a time when its business is booming, fueled by consumers staying at home with few live-entertainment options. Zynga’s shares are up nearly 50% this year, closing at $9.15 on Friday.
Zynga will pay Peak’s owners 114 million shares priced at $7.92, the volume-weighted average closing over the past 30 trading days. Zynga will have $600 million in cash on its balance sheet after the deal, Gibeau said.
At $1.8 billion, the Peak purchase eclipses earlier transactions, including the 2018 deal to buy the majority stake in Finland’s Small Giant Games for $560 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The acquisition is expected to boost the number of average users playing Zynga’s games daily by more than 60% by expanding its international audience, Gibeau said.
Zynga’s acquisitions have been critical to its revenue growth and its successful turnaround under Gibeau who took over as CEO in 2016. The idea is to create a mini-empire of successful game studios that can make franchises that remain popular for years.
“If you think about where Zynga is positioned right now, you could argue that this is a transformational deal for us,” Gibeau said. “It’ll basically add a third to our live operations revenues and bookings.”
Revenue from live operations refers to sales made from purchases in games. He added that Peak could add about $300 million to Zynga’s bookings in the second half of the year.
Zynga management first met Peak’s co-founder and CEO Sidar Sahin in 2017, when Zynga bought Peak’s casual card business for $100 million. It had also bought a company in Turkey’s gaming scene before, having acquired Gram Games in 2018.
Discussions about the bigger deal picked up at the end of last year with several trips back and forth between their respective headquarters in San Francisco and Istanbul, Gibeau said. When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, both companies decided to keep negotiations going.
Peak should help Zynga expand its margins, Gibeau said. Even without those results, Zynga increased its revenue guidance for the second quarter and the full year, he added.
Peak, founded in 2010 in Istanbul, is backed by venture capital firms Endeavor Catalyst, Earlybird Venture Capital and Hummingbird Ventures.
Video game companies have been taking advantage of the renewed interest in their products to do deals. Last month, AppLovin Corp. paid about $500 million for Machine Zone, Bloomberg News reported. Fortnite maker Epic Games has also been in fundraising talks.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.