Tencent, the Chinese company behind messaging app WeChat and internet portal QQ, has agreed to buy a majority stake in Clash of Clans developer Supercell from Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank in a deal worth $8.57 billion, valuing the company at $10.2 billion. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which previously reported that the deal would value Supercell at $9 billion; SoftBank owns 73 percent of the company, having expanded its stake after paying about $1.5 billion for 51 percent in 2013.
"We want Supercell to be the world’s best place for creative people to create games," says Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen in a statement. "At the same time, this new partnership offers us exciting growth opportunities in China, where we will be able to reach hundreds of millions of new gamers via Tencent’s channels."
SoftBank is looking to divest assets in order to reduce its debt, much of which is linked to its ownership of fourth-placed US carrier Sprint, which it bought in 2013 in an attempt to break into the US market. The company has also said it will sell at least $7.9 billion of shares in Alibaba.
Tencent, meanwhile, will be able to expand its footprint in the gaming market. It already owns Riot Games, maker of League of Legends, which is the world's highest-grossing PC game; Supercell's Clash of Clans holds the same distinction in the mobile space. The Finnish developer also makes Boom Beach, Clash Royale, and Hay Day, which aren't quite as dominant but still bring in significant revenue.
Update June 21st, 6:49AM ET: Article updated to reflect official announcement.