We’ve known for a while now that half of Nexon was for sale. And we’ve also known that Tencent was one of the bidders.
Oh wait, we didn’t know that? Well, maybe not with absolute certainty, but where there’s a big game company that’s up for sale, it’s a near-guarantee that Tencent will be involved in the transaction.
The Korea Times is reporting that Netmarble, along with Tencent and a private equity fund, has formed a consortium to purchase the the share of NXC Corp., which is owned by Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and controls 47.98% of Nexon. At nearly $9 billion in value, Kim’s stake is too much for one company to afford, the Korea Times says, while also saying that Tencent has “as much as $100 billion in cash reserves.”
Despite being headquartered in Japan, Nexon has strong Korean ties. A Netmarble official is quoted as saying that “If Nexon is sold to an overseas firm, the Korean game industry and ecosystem could be damaged and its competitiveness weakened.” While that statement refers to other interested companies not located in Asia, it might also explain why Netmarble is getting top billing in the transaction over Tencent, even if the Chinese company might foot most of the bill.