Potential buyers of controlling stake in Korean-Japanese gaming giant Nexon have been shortlisted through a preliminary bidding process, according to news reports on March 4.
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Managers of the deal -- Deutsche Bank Securities in New York and Morgan Stanley’s Menlo Park office -- have chosen five investors ahead of the auction slated for early April, in what is valued at 1 trillion won (US$888.97 million).
They include Korean internet firm Kakao, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, Seoul-based private equity firm MBK Partners and Boston-based Bain Capital, as well as one undisclosed PEF.
Missing from the list were high-profile potential bidders such as US e-commerce juggernaut Amazon.com, US cable TV network Comcast, video game developer Electronic Arts and Korean game publisher Netmarble.
But there is still room for such strategic investors to team up with one of the five bidders. Netmarble is said to have partnered with MBK Partners, industry sources noted.
Majority stake in Nexon’s holding company NXC is up for sale, following Chairman Kim Jung-ju’s move to sell off 98.64 percent owned by himself and his family. NXC is devoted mostly to gaming as it owns 47.98 percent of Tokyo-based subsidiary Nexon. NXC also owns shares in stroller maker Stokke and cryptocurrency exchanges Bitstamp and Korbit.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)