In June 2012, Nexon purchased a 14.7% minority stake in NCSoft, paying $688 million and becoming NCSoft’s largest shareholder. Just three years later, Nexon has decided to divulge itself of those shares, as revealed in a public statement, as discovered by MMOCulture.
Nexon purchased 3.218 million shares in NCSoft at 250,000 Korean won (KRW) apiece in 2012. According to the above statement, Nexon Korea had another 88,806 shares, making for a total of 15.06% of all NCSoft shares. Nexon is selling those shares for 183,000 KRW each, representing a 26.8% drop from the price three years ago.
Overall, the quoted sale price of 605,162 million KRW comes to about $535 million, a sharp dropoff from the $688 million paid to acquire the shares in 2012, a difference of 22.2% (different from the above number due to fluctuating exchange rates).
A look at NCSoft’s corporate page shows the company’s stock as being valued at 196,500 KRW per share as of Oct. 16, with an exceptionally high number of shares being traded today.
Officially, the transaction is being made because “no significant synergies have been realized between the two parties.” But despite saying that Nexon hopes “to maintain good relationship with NCSOFT Corporation,” their relationship during this time has been less than rosy, leading to some deft corporate maneuvering by NCSoft to maintain a higher percentage of its voting shares than Nexon, as described by Business Korea:
On Jan. 27, Nexon declared that it will take part in the management of NCSOFT. Nexon pressured NCSOFT by sending NCSOFT a shareholder’s suggestion, which contained agenda items for shareholder meetings… The two companies announced on Feb. 17 that NCSOFT will obtain a 9.8 percent equity in Net Marble Games, while Net Marble Games gets an 8.9 percent equity in NCSOFT… Therefore, NCSOFT secured a tool to keep its management control with an 18.8 percent share that has voting rights.
However you look at it, Nexon took a substantial financial loss and, after losing what control it had over NCSoft, apparently decided to end a relationship that provided it with little value.