Over January, we’ve been covering the future of Nexon, whose controlling owner, Kim Jung-ju, is aiming to sell his nearly 99% stake in the Korean gaming giant and its massive stable of profitable MMORPGs. That works out to about $9 billion US. Our piece a week or two ago noted that Electronic Arts, Activision, Tencent, and Disney were all possible contenders for that kind of buyout, but here comes another one: Kakao.
As reported in the Financial Times, Kakao is apparently considering a bid. Kakao is well-known to MMO players as its video game branch, Kakao Games publishes Black Desert as well as PUBG. But the company itself is a major internet corporation in South Korea, with multiple branches in transport, messenging services, and even banking.
Financial Times also says that sources suggest Tencent and a private equity firm have become more serious and that “the sale has shaped up into a competitive bidding process.” The publication also hints that there’s a bit of nationalism involved, as the South Koreans would generally prefer to keep Nexon in local hands.