South Korean mobile game company Netmarble Games Corp. debuted on Friday in the market’s second largest-ever initial public offering (IPO) became the nation’s largest game developer with its market value reaching 13.7 trillion won ($12 billion).
Netmarble Games made its much-awaited debut on Seoul’s main bourse Kospi on Friday with its IPO price set at 157,000 won apiece and raised 2.7 trillion won. Its market capitalization after the IPO hit 13.7 trillion won, beating its rival NCSoft Corp. worth 7.7 trillion won. Its shares ended Friday at 162,000 won, 3.2 percent higher than IPO price.
It is now the country’s 20th largest company based on market value, excluding Samsung Electronics Co.
The IPO also helped Netmarble Games’ founder and senior advisor Bang Jun-hyuk who owns largest 24.47 percent stake in the mobile game company to rank sixth in the nation’s top 10 stock-rich club with stockholding value reaching 3.4 trillion won. The company is expected to join the top 200 index that is scheduled to have its annual update next month.
Cash-rich Netmarble Games is anticipated to expedite its mergers and acquisitions moves. It plans to use 897.0 billion won to pay for the recent acquisition of U.S. Kabam, Inc.’s Vancouver Studio, which is responsible for most of U.S. firm’s revenue with its blockbuster game Marvel: Contest of Champions. The company has been preparing a foothold for overseas expansion by taking over other gaming firms.
The company will have 2.5 trillion won in reserve after raising additional cash this year, said Netmarble Games CEO Kwon Young-sik, adding the firm is mulling to take over game developer that can help boost its strength. Leveraging on the 2.5 trillion won fund will allow the firm to utilize up to 5 trillion won, said Kwon.
The mobile game company is readying to launch Lineage 2: Revolution in China that became a huge hit since its market release in December.
By Seo Dong-cheol and Chung Woo-sung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]