Report: Nexon founder puts $9bn controlling stake up for sale

Report: Nexon founder puts $9bn controlling stake up for sale

The founder of South Korean games giant Nexon Kim Jung-ju is reportedly selling his almost $9bn stake in the that firm's holding company.

That's according to Korean Economic Daily - as reported by Reuters - which claims via anonymous sources that the businessman has put his 10 trillion won ($8.9bn) stake in NXC Corp for sale. That's 98.64 per cent of the company, in case you're curious, held by both Jung-Ju and other parties such as his wife.

It's also claimed that Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are handling the sale.

There are very few companies that could afford that kind of outlay to buy the stake in NXC Corp. Potential buyers for the firm include Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent, as well as Electronic Arts. The former is certainly more likely, given that EA doesn't have much money in the bank at any given time.

“As the value of the company’s stake will be enormous, there will be very limited buyers with the ability to purchase Nexon,” Samsung Securities analyst Oh Dong-hwan told Reuters.

Speaking to Gamemeca, Nexon added: "The reports about CEO Kim Jung-ju looking to sell his shares because of increasing regulations and mentioning about being tired from regulations is different from the truth. We are in the process of verifying the sales and it’s taking a bit of time because of issues with our official announcement. Regardless of that fact, we are trying to make an announcement about this as soon as possible but it may be in the days that follow."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.