The British company behind the online game Candy Crush Saga has raised $499.5m in an IPO that values the firm at about $7.1bn (£4.2bn).

Shares priced at $22.50 (£13.06) each – the middle of King Digital Entertainment plc’s expectations for the floatation.

The company is selling 15.3 million of the 22.2 million shares, and the rest of the stock will be sold by existing shareholders.

The shares are expected begin trading on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “KING”.

Candy Crush and King’s other games, such as Pet Rescue Saga, have seen the firm recently squeeze out the once-dominant Zynga.

Established in 2002, King’s business soared in the past two years thanks to the spectacular popularity of Candy Crush.

Boasting some 97 million players worldwide daily, Candy Crush involves players lining up sweets and bon bons through 500 increasingly difficult levels.

It is now the biggest game for users on Facebook, having ousted Zynga’s Farmville.

King, which has its main offices in London’s Tottenham Court Road and Sweden, says more than one billion of its games are played globally.

King says it will use the proceeds from its floatation for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Like many IT companies operating in Europe, King has registered its headquarters in Ireland.

source: skynews