Chinese internet giant Tencent is reportedly trying to buy a stake in Finland-based mobile gaming company Supercell from Japan’s Softbank.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Tencent is in early talks to buy a majority stake in the games company although there may be other suitors. Last year, Tencent rival Alibaba also made a play for Supercell in tandem with online games developer Giant Interactive Group.
Tencent, Softbank and Supercell declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal or any other press.
Launched in Helsinki in 2010, Supercell makes most of its revenue from four freemium mobile games – Hay Day, Clash Of Clans, Boom Beach and Clash Royale.
Softbank and its subsidiary GungHo Online Entertainment acquired 51% of the company in 2013. In 2015, Softbank acquired another 22% of Supercell, making it the sole external shareholder and bringing its stake to 73%. The Finnish company was valued at around $5bn last year.
Tencent, which already makes a large proportion of its revenue from Chinese mobile games, has been expanding internationally in recent years.
The company has stakes in US-based Glu Mobile and Switzerland-based Miniclip and is the majority owner of Riot Games, a US-based games publisher known for League Of Legends.