Zynga Inc., a global enabler in interactive entertainment, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire StarLark, developer of the fast-growing and second-largest mobile golf game in the world, Golf Rival, from Betta Games for $525 million in cash and stock.
This acquisition brings to Zynga a talented development team with the proven ability to create a global hit and additional projects in early development. StarLark also expands Zynga’s international presence by establishing a China-based studio with access to the region’s creative talent base.
In Golf Rival, players of all skill levels compete in real-time player-versus-player matches, including multiplayer tournaments on spectacular courses with customizable equipment. The game has rapidly grown to become the second-largest mobile golf game in the world with six million downloads in 2021 alone.
“With the acquisition of Golf Rival, Zynga becomes home to a talented team with the proven ability to create a global hit, while expanding Zynga’s international footprint with a new studio in China,” said Frank Gibeau, Chief Executive Officer of Zynga. “Golf Rival has rapidly ascended to become the second-largest mobile golf game in the world, with six million downloads in 2021 alone. Together, Zynga and StarLark are well-positioned to grow Golf Rival faster together with additional new projects in early development.”
“I’m very proud of the StarLark team for making Golf Rival a worldwide hit and we are thrilled to join Zynga to further accelerate the game’s incredible growth trajectory as a forever franchise,” said Henry You, Founder and General Manager of StarLark. “This partnership will provide Zynga with greater accessibility to China’s deep talent pool, while also giving StarLark access to Zynga’s global resources and expertise.”
Zynga will acquire the StarLark development studio and Golf Rival franchise for approximately $525 million, comprising approximately $315 million of cash and approximately $210 million of Zynga common stock (issued at the average closing price per share over the thirty-day trading period ended August 02, 2021). The final closing consideration will also include customary closing adjustments and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Zynga was advised by White & Case and Fangda Law. Aream & Co. acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Orrick served as legal advisor to Betta Games in this transaction.