PopCap Games in Late-Stage Acquisition Talks with EA

PopCap Games, creator of well-known and popular casual games such as Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs. Zombies, is about to be acquired, according to a new report. The price is a cool $1 billion, according to multiple sources.

That's right, $1 billion.  With a $1 billion price, which could be as high as a 10x multiple (with PopCap's revenue estimated at about $100 - $150 million), the most obvious choice, Zynga, was out of the running. The price was simply too rich for its blood.  So who was the big winner?  Other names bandied around included Google, Disney, and Activision.  Activision is the large gaming company without a stable of casual games, and with a  market cap of $12.94 billion, could "ingest" PopCap easily.

While the original report did not have information from sources on the buyer, it now appears it's  Electronic Arts. With EA's market capitalization at $7.49 billion, that would be a large acquisition. It's rumored that EA is taking a big chance on PopCap Games because it really needs to break big into mobile and social gaming, where the company hasn’t done nearly as well as it has in console and PC gaming.

 Previously, PopCap had been rumored to be considering a possible IPO later this year. The company raised $22.5 million in October of 2009.