NCsoft, facing a possible hostile takeover by Nexon, bought a 9.8% stake in the unlisted Netmarble, worth 380.3 billion Korean Won (USD 345 million) and becomes the fourth largest shareholder. The deal also involves a 700 billion Korean Won (USD 635.2 million) stock-swap between the two companies, giving founder Kim Taek-jin a shield against Nexon (together with his own 9.98% stake).
Industry watchers had claimed that a hostile takeover by Nexon was imminent prior to the Netmarble deal. It remains to be seen if Nexon will continue its aggressive approach, even with the new financial barrier. If NCsoft did not privately provide satisfactory replies to Nexon’s previous demands, they might be put up for voting at NCsoft’s shareholders meeting in March.