A man plays a game on a smartphone.
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AppLovin, the U.S. mobile app and gaming company backed by private equity firm KKR, has hired Morgan Stanley to lead preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) which could come early in 2021, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company has flirted with the idea of an IPO for years, but had never taken a concrete preparatory step. It is the latest mobile gaming startup to eye a stock market listing, as demand for video games surges among consumers staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sources requested anonymity because the IPO preparations are confidential and cautioned that the plans are subject to market conditions.
“Today gaming is a fractured, fragmented market. I think the market will consolidate, and I think AppLovin will be one of those consolidators,” Ted Oberwager, a managing