Slaughters and Covington act on $8.6bn mobile gaming deal

Covington & Burling and Slaughter and May are advising Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings on the $8.6bn (£5.9bn) acquisition of a majority stake in the Finnish game developer behind the Clash of Clans mobile game.

Shenzhen-based Tencent is leading a consortium to buy an 84% stake in Clash of Clans developer Supercell Oy from Japan’s SoftBank Group and the gamemaker’s employees. The deal, Tencent’s largest ever acquisition, values Supercell at $10.2bn (£6.9bn).

Helsinki-based Supercell was founded in 2010 and has developed popular mobile strategy game Clash of Clans. In 2015, Clash of Clans was the highest grossing app on App Store and Google Play, making $1.5m (£1m) per day, according to mobile game data tracker Think Gaming.

Covington is representing Tencent on the deal. The firm’s Silicon Valley partner Scott Anthony had previously advised Tencent on investments in both Riot Games and Epic Games.

Slaughter and May is acting as co-counsel to Tencent. Richard Pu, deputy general counsel of Tencent, is leading the in-house team.

SoftBank is being advised by Morrison & Foerster with a team led by Tokyo managing partner Kenneth Siegel and San Francisco partner Eric McCrath, with help from Washington, DC partners Lauren Bellerjeau and Jeff Jaeckel, Tokyo partner Ivan Smallwood, and Brussels partner Tom McQuail.

In 2013, MoFo also advised SoftBank on a $1.5bn (£1bn) investment in Supercell.

Fenwick & West is acting for Supercell with a team led by Mountain View-based corporate partners Mark Stevens and Gregory Roussel. Members of the team also include fellow Mountain View partners Shawn Lampron, Mark Ostrau and David Forst, and San Francisco partner Stephen Gillespie.

White & Case Helsinki partner Janko Lindros is advising Supercell on Finnish law.

The deal, which is subject to antitrust approvals in the US and Europe, is expected to close in the third quarter this year.