Nexon Founder Looking To Sell $10 Billion Controlling Stake
Kim Jung-ju, the founder South Korea's largest gaming company, is putting his entire 98.64% stake in holding company NXC Corp for sale. NXC Corp itself controls 47.98% of Nexon and ~80% of Korbit and Bitstamp, two cryptocurrency exchanges.
The stake is currently valued at ~$10 billion which would make it biggest ever Korean sale of this nature. Kim Jung-ju founded Nexon in 1994 and the company's first MMORPG Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds was released in 1996. Nexon has since grown into both a developer and publisher of PC and mobile title around the world. The company's most successful franchises are MapleStory (2003), and Dungeon Fighter Online (2005), both of which are still highly profitable.
Investment banks Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are orchestrating the deal, and will invite prospective buyers to start making bids early next month. Due to the size of the sale, the list of potential buyers is expected to be short. Chinese gaming giant Tencent is the most likely bidder since it holds the Chinese license to DFO from which it makes over $1 billion a year in revenue. Other potential bidders include NetEase, Kakao Corp, NetMarble, and American publisher Electronic Arts.
Those interested in more details on the sale should read the write up by Korean business news site Pulse.
Further Reading: Pulse article