But a valuation above Activision Blizzard or EA makes raises some red flags nonetheless.
June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Zynga Inc., the top developer of games for Facebook Inc.’s site, will file paperwork for an initial public offering today, said GreenCrest Capital Management LLC, which cited a “major investor” in the startup.
The company has chosen Morgan Stanley to be the lead underwriter of an offering that will raise more than $1 billion, said Nitsan Hargil, an analyst at GreenCrest, which focuses on closely held firms. He didn’t name the investor, saying only that it was an early backer of Zynga.
Zynga’s sales will reach about $1.5 billion this year, generating $500 million of net income, Hargil estimates. The company doesn’t need the money it will raise from selling shares, the New York-based analyst said.
The startup is valued at $15.4 billion on SharesPost Inc., an exchange that connects buyers and sellers of privately held companies. That would make it the most valuable U.S. game company, ahead of Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. Zynga recently hired former Electronic Arts Chief Operating Officer John Schappert for a senior role.