[THE INVESTOR] Chang Byung-gyu has strengthened his control of Bluehole Studio, developer of the immensely popular game “PlayerUnknown’s Battleground,” after acquiring an additional 6.7 percent stake with friendly investors, according to industry sources on Oct. 12.
The co-founder and chairman of Bluehole and other executives in tandem with IMM Investment and JKL Partners bought the additional stake for 360 billion won (US$316 million), or 650,000 won per share, from early investors including K Net Venture Capital.
Bluehole Studio Co-founder and Chairman Chang Byung-gyu
K Net Venture Capital invested 9.9 billion won for 9.3 percent stake in 2009, becoming the second-largest shareholder. But in August it sold some shares to China’s Tencent Holdings, which was eager to raise its stake to 10 percent.
The amount paid by Chang and his partners is on par with what Tencent paid for 8.5 percent stake. With this, the market value of unlisted Bluehole is now estimated to reach 4.6 trillion won.
Industry sources said that by acquiring additional shares with friendly investors, Chang could reinforce his management control.
Chang has invested 110 billion won while IMM and JKL Parnters put 200 billion won and 50 billion won, respectively, the sources said.
Bluehole’s sales and operating profit are expected to reach 1 trillion and 500 billion won, respectively, this year.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)