Five companies including Kakao and Netmarble have joined the final bid for game giant Nexon, industry sources said on June 3.
The bid to buy a majority stake in NXC, the holding company of Nexon Japan, has also attracted Seoul-based MBK Partners, KKR and Bain Capital. All five participated in the deal independently.
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The final bid was originally scheduled to close early April but its deadline was extended twice due to the difference in the expected price for the company. Nexon founder and Chairman Kim Jung-ju reportedly expected a price tag between 15 trillion won ($12.6 billion) and 20 trillion won, taking into consideration Nexon Japan’s stock price. Tokyo-listed Nexon Japan, owned by NXC, was priced around 1,900 yen ($17.57) when Kim decided to sell early last year. But the share price has fallen and on May 31 it closed at 1,617 yen.
But the potential buyers want the value of the publisher of hugely popular “Dungeon Fighter” at less than 15 trillion won.
Some market watchers anticipated bids from overseas companies like Tencent and Walt Disney Co. amid reports that Kim visited Disney last month to mull possible interest by the US company.
Kim and his family are selling a 98.64 percent stake in NXC, the holding company of Nexon Japan.
NXC holds 47.98 percent of shares in Nexon Japan, which wholly owns Nexon Korea.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)