South Korean Netmarble and Kakao joined the bid for NXC Corp. NXC Corp is the holding company of Nexon, the country’s game industry leader that until now has been followed by Netmarble and Kakao.
A 98.64% stake in NXC Corp is up for sale in one of the biggest deals in the global gaming industry. The auction closed on May 31. Private equity firms KKR & Co., Bain Capital, and MBK Partners also submitted bids. Against expectations, Tencent didn’t participate in the bid, but it holds a 17.7 percent stake in Netmarble and a 6.7 percent stake in Kakao.
Currently, NXC Corp is privately owned by Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and his wife. The acquisition price might be as high as 13 trillion won ($11 billion). It’s likely that potential buyers will have to form a consortium to be able to afford it.
NXC holds a 47.98% stake in Nexon (estimated to be worth six to seven trillion won (around $5.5 billion)).
In 2018, Nexon reported revenue of $2.3 billion, which makes it the world’s 12th most profitable gaming company.
Nexon’s portfolio of games include MapleStory, Dungeon Fighter, and Mabinogi, as well as several mobile titles via its subsidiaries.