With $1.8 billion in cash, Zynga's OMGPOP acquisition was just the beginning

By Josh Wittenkeller | Apr 17, 2012 |

Just as the average Farmville junkie will stop at nothing to acquire the largest plot of land that they can, social games supergiant Zynga is only looking to expand their already enormous company. According to a report by Bloomberg, Zynga’s merger chief Barry Cottle is planning to step up the pace of acquisitions. It looks like that lucrative $200 million dollar deal for OMGPOP was only the beginning.

According to Cottle, “We have a significant amount of cash, we have no debt, and we have access to debt to be as aggressive as we need be.” Currently, Zynga holds a whopping $1.8 billon dollars in cash and short-term investments to spend. With the right negotiations, they could buy nine OMGPOP-sized companies right now.

The biggest targets in Zynga’s financial crosshairs are likely mobile game companies. Currently, more than 90 percent of Zynga’s profits lie in revenue made via Facebook. With the staggering amount of mobile devices sold on the market, it only makes sense for a company as large as Zynga to keep up with the trends.

One question, however, is whether or not Zynga’s massive spending habit is a smart option. After losing out on multiple potential acquisitions, the largest amongst them being the sale of PopCap Games to Electronic Arts, they’ve been determined in spending top dollar to secure any future hit companies. Barry Cottle himself (along with his boss, John Schappert) was a multi-million dollar investment that brought talent away from Electronic Arts. Zynga clearly has money to blow, but should they spend it?

For example: OMGPOP’s Draw Something currently earns around $250,000 a day. If it were able to stay on the top of the charts nonstop (a true feat given how competitive the market is), it’d still take over two years to pay off OMGPOP’s price on its own. Granted, they still grab the entire OMGPOP team and all their work, but it’s still not a guaranteed safe investment.

Either way, Zynga has set an extremely high precedent for itself as a company that is willing to shell out big bucks for a hot company. Given their recent interest in a focused effort toward making new acquisitions, don’t be surprisedif you hear about more multi-million dollar mobile deals from Zynga soon.

Read more: Zynga, acquisitions

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