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Publishing giant ends long-rumoured takeover bid

Nexon sells off shares in NCSoft

Nexon has sold off its 15 per cent stake in South Korea publisher NCSoft.

As reported by Business Korea, sales of the shares were worth $533.7m in cash. During the sell-off, NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin increased his stake in the company from ten per cent to 12 per cent by acquiring 440,000 shares.

Just last year, Nexon had raised its stake to more than 15 per cent from 14.68 per cent – just three per cent below the stake held by NCSoft and its CEO. This meant Nexon had to report its interest to the Fair Trade Commission, sparking concerns from NCSoft that it was preparing a takeover bid.

Nexon later declared its intention to take part in the company’s management, as well as asking for a list of NCSoft shareholders and details on executive salaries.

In what was seen as part of a bid to retain control of the company however, NCSoft purchased a 9.8 per cent stake in NetMarble, while that firm also bought an 8.9 per cent equity in NCSoft. The deal gave NCSoft a route into the mobile games market while also securing control of the board.

Despite rumours that Nexon would continue its long-rumoured takeover bid, the publisher has now sold off its stake completely.

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