South Korean gaming firm Netmarble Corp. has formed a consortium with Chinese internet services provider Tencent and domestic private equity fund (PEF) MBK Partners to acquire NXC Corp., the holding company of Nexon Group.
Netmarble joined hands with Tencent as a strategic investor and MBK Partners as a financial investor to participate in a preliminary bid for NXC Corp., according to investment banking (IB) industry sources on Feb. 7.
Tencent is the third largest shareholder of Netmarble with a 17.6 percent stake. If Netmarble succeeds in acquiring NXC Corp., Tencent will be able to indirectly exercise its influence on Nexon through Netmarble. Tencent owns the exclusive license to operate Nexon’s Dungeon & Fighter in China.
Tencent refrained from attempting to directly acquire NXC Corp. in consideration of the concern that the domestic gaming industry would be put under the control of Chinese companies. Tencent did not want to spend a huge amount of money to acquire NXC Corp. as well.
Meanwhile, Kakao Corp. also intends to acquire NXC Corp. Tencent also owns a 6.7 percent stake in Kakao.