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Voodoo Backers Kick Off Sale of Mobile Game Developer

Myriam Balezou and Dinesh Nair

(Bloomberg) -- Voodoo SAS’s backers have kicked off the sale of a stake in the French mobile game developer, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Marketing materials with an overview of the business have been sent to potential buyers, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The sellers are seeking indicative bids by early June, according to the people. A deal could value Voodoo at more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), one of the people said.

The decision to push ahead with the sale comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is keeping more people indoors and on their phones. That is helping to shield the mobile gaming industry from the virus’s broader economic impact, which is slowing dealmaking in other sectors.

Voodoo is majority owned by its co-founders Alexandre Yazdi and Laurent Ritter. In 2018, they sold a stake in the business to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. private equity fund called West Street Capital Partners VII.

The company’s shareholders have been gauging interest from potential investors including rival game developers Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Zynga Inc., Bloomberg News reported in April. The process is at an early stage, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said.

A representative for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. An official at Voodoo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Voodoo, which was started in 2013, makes easy-to-play games including “Helix Jump,” “Roller Splat” and “Snake VS Block.” Many are free to download with optional in-game purchases. The company’s games have more than 300 million monthly active users and have generated in excess of 2 billion downloads, according to its website.

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