Kim Jung-ju, the founder of South Korean gaming giant Nexon Co., sold BrickLink, the biggest online LEGO fan marketplace and community, to LEGO Group as part of streamlining efforts after scrapping plans to sell his controlling stake in Nexon’s holding company.
The LEGO Group said on its website Tuesday that it purchased the online platform from NXMH Corp., the global investment arm of Nexon’s parent NXC. The acquisition also includes Sohobricks, which makes small batches of brick building elements.
Financial terms of the deal, set to close by the year-end, were not specified.
BrickLink has more than one million members and runs an online marketplace of more than 10,000 stores from 70 countries. The Irvine, California-based platform was founded in 2000 by Dan Jezek but struggled financially following Jezek’s death in 2010. NXMH acquired the company in 2013.
Industry observers saw the sale as part of Kim’s plans to shed non-core assets after his botched $16 billion gaming deal earlier this year. Kim had sought to sell the 98.6 percent stake in NXC owned by himself and his wife, in what would have been the world’s biggest deal in the gaming industry.
But few bidders had the financial resources to stomach such a hefty price tag. The deal fell apart when China’s Tencent Holdings, a major contender, withdrew its offer and bids from other tech giants also fell short of expectations.
Other companies under the NXMH portfolio are the luxury baby stroller maker Stokke and the European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp.
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