After many months of speculation on who exactly would be allowed to bid on Nexon by buying out its founding family’s controlling stake in the company (at one point said to be worth between $9B and $11B), we thought we finally had our answer at the start of June. Both Kakao and Netmarble submitted bids, along with private equity firms KKR & Co., Bain Capital, and MBK Partners. It was going to be one them, right?
According to an article on Bloomberg last night, The Korea Economic Daily quoted anonymous sources who’ve leaked that patriarch Kim Jung-ju has decided not to sell the familial stake after all and had assigned the involved banks to deliver the news to the potential buyers. The Korean Electronic Times further suggested that negotiations had stalled out over the purchase price.
Whether or not the rumors are true, the company’s stock took a dip in response, up to 5% lost. Bloomberg says Kim’s stake is worth $6.1B after the the news.
Well that's certainly news. I didn't think it was ever going to be quick, but didn't expect a "no deal," even with a smaller group of local bidders. https://t.co/CYBlVYFkZI
— Scott Hartsman (@hartsman) June 26, 2019