Talking Tom Game Maker Said to Hire Goldman to Weigh a Sale

  • Outfit7 may fetch a value of more than 500 million pounds
  • Company is attracting interest from other game developers

Outfit7 Ltd., maker of the Talking Tom mobile games, is exploring a sale to take advantage of the boom in entertainment software buyouts, according to people familiar with the matter.

The closely held company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on the sale, which is attracting interest from other game developers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The London-registered company could be valued at more than 500 million pounds ($616 million), the people said.

Representatives for Outfit7 and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Outfit7 makes money through advertising and in-app purchases. To take advantage of its popularity with children, Outfit7 has also been expanding with web videos, a tactic also being taken by Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment Oy. A “Talking Tom and Friends” animated series was made with Walt Disney Co.

There’s been $22 billion in deals involving companies that make entertainment software announced in 2016 so far, the most spent in at least 12 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In June, China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. led an $8.6 billion acquisition of Clash of Clans and Hay Day maker Supercell Oy. Caesars Entertainment Corp. agreed to sell its casino-style online game unit, Playtika Ltd., for $4.4 billion to a group of Chinese investors in July.

Founded in 2009, Outfit7’s portfolio includes free mobile apps and games, animated videos and merchandise licensing, according to its website. Talking Tom and Friends applications have been downloaded more than 5 billion times and have 300 million active users per month, putting it in league with Twitter Inc.’s 313 million.

Outfit7 also has about 9 million YouTube subscribers and its video content has received more than 9.4 billion views. In one version of the game, an animated cat repeats what a user says in a funny voice. Others let users put together a virtual jigsaw puzzle or guide the characters through obstacle courses.

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