Kim Jung-ju, founder of South Korean video game company Nexon, is selling his controlling stake in the company to the tune of 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion).
The news comes by way of Reuters, reported on Thursday. Jung-ju, the biggest stakeholder in Nexon holding company NXC Corp., has tapped Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to supervise the sales of the shares he and his wife own in the company. Nexon’s current market value via the Tokyo Stock Exchange is listed at around 13 trillion won.
The selection of possible buyers currently includes Chinese company Tencent Holdings and Korean Kakao Corp and Netmarble Corp. Electronic Arts has reportedly entered a bid as well.
Tencent currently publishes a mobile iteration of Nexon subsidiary Neople’s Chinese “Dungeon & Fighter” title. The Chinese behemoth of a company has considerable stakes in the game industry including part ownership of Epic Games, publisher of the massively popular battle royale game “Fortnite.” A spokesperson for NXC Corp. declined to comment on the situation, according to Reuters.
Kim Jung-ju founded Nexon back in 1994, and it swiftly rose to prominence after releasing the 1998 North American title “Nexus: Kingdom of the Winds.” It also found a modicum of success after releasing the popular 2D MMORPG “MapleStory.” The recent global release of “MapleStory 2” significantly updated its predecessor in several ways, and even triggered the debut of the original game’s villain, the Black Mage, after fans waited a decade to see it come into play.