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Netmarble seeks W2tr stock debut on KOSPI

[THE INVESTOR] South Korea’s No. 1 mobile game developer Netmarble Games is seeking to go public on the nation’s benchmark stock exchange KOSPI in the coming months.

The company has long gauged its initial public offering in Korea or the US as part of its push for global expansion.

A NASDAQ debut could help it elevate its presence in overseas markets but there was risk of being undervalued as compared to KOSPI. 

Netmarble founder Bang Joon-hyuk.
Netmarble founder Bang Joon-hyuk.


Sources say its recent failed attempt to acquire Playtika, the Israel-based online casino game developer, an affiliate of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, could have affected the company’s final decision.

The company proposed US$4 billion in the July bid but a Chinese consortium-led by Alibaba won the bid for US$4.4 billion.

With the new funding secured from the KOSPI debut, the company said it will continue seeking acquisitions while expanding its overseas services.

The company aims to raise up to 2 trillion won ($1.79 billion) and its market capitalization could be worth 10 trillion won.

The IPO is expected to be made later this year or early next year. NH Investment and Securities and JP Morgan are the key financial advisors.

Last year, the company posted 1.729 trillion won in sales and 225.3 billion won in operating profit.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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