A Korean deal that could be worth up to $13.2 billion

What do the following have in common: a beat ’em up video game, two bitcoin exchanges, and a Norwegian babystroller maker? They are all affiliates of NXC, a Korean holding company. The most important part is a 48 per cent stake in Nexon, one of the biggest video-gaming businesses in the world by revenue. The founding Kim family has put the shares up for sale in a deal that could be worth up to Won15 trillion ($13.2 billion). Potential buyers and strategic investors include China’s Tencent, Kakao of Korea as well as Blackstone and Bain Capital. The Kims will hang on to the stroller group and bitcoin exchanges, despite a lack of obvious synergies… NXC’s Tokyo-listed Nexon stake is worth $7.4 billion. Securities laws would require the buyer to make a tender offer for remaining shares, taking the total to as much as $14 billion. For most would be buyers, the deal is too big. This is one reason that Tencent is bidding in consortium with two Korean companies, Netmarble Games and MBK, a private equity group… Shares in Tencent, Netmarble and Nexon have rallied since speculation about the deal surfaced at the start of the year. Underbidders may see their shares slide. But even the winners may have a hard time digesting an acquisition of this size.