Nexon, the biggest gaming company in South Korea and a cryptocurrency industry investor, could soon be under the control of Disney, as reported by local news outlets.
According to reports, Disney could be in line to scoop up a controlling share of Nexon stock. Nexon stocks have been on the market for over a year after Kim Jung-Ju who owns 89.64 percent of the company, expressed his interest in selling the company in January 2018.
By March a few individuals had already been shortlisted to bid for the company including the Kakao, Tencent, MBK Partners with Netmarble, Bain Capital and undisclosed foreign companies. However, it seems that Kim has a particular interest in Disney. He said:
“What I envy the most about Disney is that they do not force money out of kids … (consumers) gladly pay Disney. Nexon has a long way to go. Some people hate Nexon to death.”
The Korean Herald states Nexon’s current stake on sale amounts to around 15 trillion won ($13.2 billion). Nexon is a big player in the gaming industry and has a significant presence in South Korea and Japan. The company, which was founded in 1994, employs roughly 7,000 and maintains about 80 titles in the region. The company is involved in many things, but its best known for publishing games, such as the MapleStory series.
Last year, Nexon acquired Bitstamp, a major crypto exchange in South Korea, for about $350 million. Nexon began its interest in cryptocurrencies back in 2017 when it bought 65 percent of the company shares for $80 million.
As for why Disney would be interested in acquiring Nexon, the company has a robust mobile presence that Disney would more than likely utilize in the future should the purported deal go through. Disney will also be able to take advantage of the already existing cryptocurrency presence controlled by Nexon.
Disney is already involved in a new advertising platform based on blockchain technology. The project is collaboration with other key players in the entertainment industry.
So far, there is no official statement from the two companies on the acquisition.
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