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Tencent, Kakao among shortlisted bidders for South Korea gaming firm Nexon: report

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Chinese tech giant Tencent and South Korea's biggest chat operator Kakao Corp are among five bidders shortlisted to buy South Korean gaming firm Nexon, the Korea Economic Daily newspaper reported on Monday.

[SEOUL] Chinese tech giant Tencent and South Korea's biggest chat operator Kakao Corp are among five bidders shortlisted to buy South Korean gaming firm Nexon, the Korea Economic Daily newspaper reported on Monday.

The newspaper said NXC Corp, the holding firm which controls Nexon, also had shortlisted private equity firms Bain Capital and MBK Partners, as well as an unidentified private equity firm.

South Korean publisher Netmarble Corp was not offered to join the preliminary bidding, but formed a consortium with MBK Partners to bid for Nexon, according to the report which cited investment banking sources.

The deal could worth as much as 15 trillion won (S$18 billion) and the formal bid process was set to take place in early April, it added.

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Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju has been exploring a sale of a 98.64 per cent stake in NXC Corp that is held by him and related parties including his wife.

MBK Partners declined to comment on the report while Tencent, Kakao, Netmarble and Bain Capital were not immediately available for comment.

REUTERS