Game maker Zynga to file for IPO

Online game creator Zynga plans to file for an initial public offering shortly, in a new test of US investors’ appetites for Internet companies, say media reports.

The maker of FarmVille and other popular games is seeking a valuation of between $15 and $20 billion, CNBC television and The Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources close to the deal.

Zynga could file its IPO papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission as early as Wednesday, the reports said.

CNBC said the company would seek to raise between $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion in the offering.

A Zynga spokesperson declined to comment on the reports.

Founded in 2007, the San Francisco-based software company makes notoriously addictive games which run on top of social networking site Facebook, including Zynga Poker and Mafia Wars.

The company boasts more than 250 million players per month and is seen as part of the growing wave of social networking ventures that also includes Facebook and Twitter.

The company may be hoping to duplicate the success of recent tech IPOs such as that of LinkedIn, the professional networking site whose shares more than doubled in price after they debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in May.

Some critics say the recent enthusiasm for tech IPOs is not justified by the companies’ fundamental valuations and may be part of a new tech bubble along the lines of the dot-com boom of 1999-2000.

Zynga is co-owned by Russian investment company, Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which also owns about 7-10% of Facebook by various estimates. South African emerging markets media giant Naspers, an $18-billion company, is also part of the group.

– AFP, with staff reporter



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