EA Buying PopCap Games for $750 Million


U.S. videogame titan Electronic Arts said Tuesday it is buying PopCap Games, maker of popular titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, and Zuma, for at least $750 million in cash and stock.

EA said it will pay $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap, which makes casual games for mobile phones, personal and tablet computers and social networks.

The total purchase price could rise to as much as $1.3 billion if PopCap achieves certain earnings targets between now and December 2013.

"EA and PopCap are a compelling combination," EA chief executive John Riccitiello said in a statement.

"PopCap's great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA's momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business," Riccitiello said.

"EA's global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels," he said.

The Redwood City, California-based EA is the company behind the "Sims," "Madden NFL," "FIFA Soccer" and other hit games.

PopCap games have been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times and are popular on platforms such as Facebook, RenRen, Google and iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

PopCap was founded in 2000 and is based in Seattle, Washington. It employs around 475 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Dublin, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.

PopCap chief executive David Roberts said "by working with EA, we'll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience."

EA said it expects the transaction to close in August 2011.

EA shares were down 3.27 percent at $23.38 in after-hours electronic trading.