Games Industry

Media: Nexon founder refused to sell the company – Disney and EA were initially interested in it


In the final auction was attended by US investment firms and South Korean media holdings, which offered insufficient price.

According to sources in The Korea Economic Daily, Kim Jun-doo – the founder and head of the Korean video game publisher Nexon – decided not to sell 98.64% of the company’s shares. They were estimated at 9 billion dollars.

The controlling stake in Nexon, according to analysts at Ico Partners, was initially interested in EA, Tencent and Activision. Kim Jun-do also personally met with one of the top managers of Disney, whom he offered to issue a deal for 13.2 billion dollars.

However, as a result, Disney refused to participate in the auction, and the final list of bidders for the purchase of Nexon included investment firms KKR, Bain Capital and MBK Partners, as well as South Korean corporations Kakao and Netmarble.


Kim Jun-doo refused to KKR and Bain Capital, as they offered too low prices, and found Netmarble financially unable to acquire Nexon. As a result, the head of the publishing house decided to stop bidding.

Kim Jun-do founded Nexon in 1994 and offered for sale a controlling stake of its shares in January 2019. The company is known for online games for mobile devices and PCs – including ArcheAge, TERA and Dungeon Fighter Online.

Insiders claim that Kim Jung-doo was planning to leave the gaming industry because of the increased government demands in this area, as well as because of the bribery scandal.


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