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Nexon founder to sell controlling stake in holding firm

All Headlines 17:12 January 03, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- The founder of South Korea's major online game publisher Nexon Co. is poised to sell a controlling stake in the firm's holding company, industry observers said Thursday.

Kim Jung-ju is offering a combined 98.64 percent stake worth 6 trillion won (US$5.32 billion) in Nexon's holding firm NXC Corp. and held by himself and his wife, as well as related companies, sources said. The sum is based on the latest closing price of shares.

NXC is the largest shareholder of Nexon Co., which is listed on the Tokyo stock market. Its stake in the company stands at a solid 47.98 percent.

The estimated value of stakes up for sale could reach as high as 10 trillion won when counting the value of numerous companies NXC currently owns, the local game company said.

Nexon Co. controls Nexon Korea, which also has stakes in firms such as European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp and baby furniture firm Stokke AS.

Kim has reportedly been unhappy with regulatory restrictions against game firms in South Korea.

NXC declined to comment on the issue but denied media reports citing regulatory restrictions as a reason behind the sell-off.

Game industry officials said potential buyers include local industry rivals Kakao Corp. and mobile game company Netmarble Corp. Some foreign firms including China-based tech firm Tencent Holdings Ltd. and U.S. video game company Electronic Arts Inc. may be interested in the stakes.

This undated photo provided by NXC Corp. shows Kim Jung-ju, founder of South Korea's major online game publisher Nexon Co. (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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