Tag: investment

Bluehole Studio Attracted $13M for Post-TERA

Bluehole Studio, a developer of MMORPG <TERA>, announced that it attracted investment of US$13M from IMM Investment and Premiere Partners for its next game on June 23. Bluehole Studio started working on two brand-new MMORPGs.

Bluehole Studio had attracted investment of US$8.4M from Altos Ventures in 2008 and US$17.7M from a consortium formed of six investors such as Kaynet Investment and Stonebridge Capital in 2009 respectively.


NCsoft Invested $5M in Webcomics


NCsoft invested $5M in Lezhin Entertainment, a webcomic publisher. They are looking at long-term relationship to create new intellectual properties.

Lezhin Entertainment, founded in June 2013, has published 230 webcomics with 226 authors under Lehzin Comics, turning over about $3M and securing 900,000 users for last 10 months. It is also adding 10~15 new webcomics each month.

With the investment, it is now working on transmedia strategy or so-called OSMU like what Marvel Comics has done with its Avengers characters in movies and games and willing to leap into the global market starting from Japan. “I am looking forward to a big synergy through the investement from the best Korean gaming company,” said HeeSung Han, the CEO of Lezhin. “It would be a good momentum for the creative digital story-telling content.”

You can check what Lezhin Comics offers at www.lezhin.com.

What Tencent Let CJ Games, Netmarble, and Bang Do

JoonHyuk Bang returned to Netmarble as its largest shareholder for the first time in 10 years. He has received investments totaling up to $500M from Tencent, and has managed to use this to merge Netmarble into CJ Games.

Just what kind of progress has been made so far, and what kind of future can we expect from this big surge of change? We have organized the situation with Bang , Tencent, CJ Games, and the merged CJ Netmarble(assumed).

  • Advisor JoonHyuk Bang Reclaims Netmarble with Tencent Investments

JoonHyuk Bang

CJ E&M’s advisor JoonHyuk Bang drew out Tencent’s investments of $500M.  Among those, he used about $330M on the acquisition of shares of Netmarble, MediaWeb, N2Play, and YJM Entertainment.

As one of the most common methods in transfer of management rights, acquisition of shares represents the selling of the shares from within the company.  Simply spoken, Bang used $330M out of the investment in order to purchase the shares and the right of management of all 4 companies.


  • CJ Games Escapes from the Subsidiary Law with the Change in the Largest Shareholder Position


In actuality, it is easier to say that CJ E&M has handed the full management rights of CJ Netmarble to Bang.  Before Tencent’s investment, CJ E&M had 51.4% (100,000 shares) and Bang had 48.2% (96,393 shares) of CJ Games’s shares. However, CJ E&M has sold 3,564 of its shares and added 83 shares to Bang to bring Bang just above the line for the largest shareholder position.

The reason behind their decision for the transfer of shares is to resolve their sub-sub-subsidiary’s ‘shares holdings’ issue.  According to the Fair Trade Act, a sub-subsidiary can establish its another subsidiary only when it holds 100% of its subsidieary’s(sub-sub-subsidiary) shares. As CJ Games is already a sub-subsidiary of CJ(CJ E&M is the subsidiary of CJ), it must hold 100% of the shares of CJ Games Lab, AniPark, etc.

However, with Bang becoming its largest shareholder, it was able to rid itself of the limitations put on by the FTA.


  • Is CJ Netmarble Worth $1.9 Billion?


Tencent has invested a total of $500M to CJ Games. With this investment, Tencent received 75,289 of CJ Games’s shares, equaling up to 28% of the total shares. Calculating this in reverse results in the conclusion that Tencent regards the value of entire CJ Games to be around $1.9B.

While it is difficult to do a simple comparison due to the fact that up-pricing of the shares is so common in the case of foreign investments, the $2B value exceeds that of both NHN Entertainment (around $1.4B) and CJ E&M (around $1.1B). This signifies Tencent’s high evaluation of CJ Games.


  • CJ E&M Lowers Its Risks with Gaming and Profits


With the transfer of shares, CJ E&M takes another step away from the gaming industry. Since it, however, still holds 35.86% of the shares of CJ Games, it is still within the boundary of taking profits from the industry while lowring any risk.

Back in 2004, CJ E&M purchased 18% of Netmarble’s shares from Bang at $75M.  Considering the current 35.86% of CJ Game shares that CJ E&M possesses along with Tencent’s recent investment, it results around $650M.

Plus it also has received $330M from CJ Games in the process of separating Netmarble and the other related 3 companies, resulting $1B in total. In conclusion, CJ E&M has profited 10 folds in just 10 years.


  • So What Now for CJ Netmarble?


JoonHyuk Bang was the leading force behind the current Netmarble’s mobile business.  CJ E&M’s decision to make the change from online gaming to mobile gaming was also his decision. With Bang as the largest shareholder and without the regulation by the FTA, a more progressive action in the mobile gaming business is expected in the future.

Even with the $330M expense spent in merging of the companies, there are still $170M left.  CJ Netmarble has more than enough funding to begin their new era of investments. For Tencent, it can enjoy the privilege of being able to take Netmarble’s games to the Chinese market in priority.

As Bang has commented in the press conference, this recent investment and business changes ultimately allows CJ Netmarble to make its progress into the global market.

Tecent Invested $500M in CJ Games, Becoming 3rd Largest Shareholders

20140326153754_1858CJ E&M announced that China’s Tencent invests a total of $500M(533 billion won) in CJ Games on the 26th.  With this investment, Tencent has become 3rd largest shareholders of CJ Games.

CJ Games, a subsidiary company of CJ E&M, is a large scale development holidng company possessing  AniPark, Seed9Games, and Blue Pepper with game lineups such as <Everybody ChaChaCha>, <Dice Venture>, <Taiming Monsters>.

The recent investment was completed with Tencent’s purchase of 28% of CJ Games stocks.  CJ E&M has sold its shares to Tencent, and in consequence has moved down from its previous position as the largest shareholder to the second largest shareholder.  CJ E&M’s advisor JoonHyuk Bang now holds the position as the largest shareholder.

“It was in order to combine the game development and publishing business and to enhance the competitiveness of the gaming industry,” explained CJ E&M on this investment. CJ Games plans to utilize the newly acquired funding to merge with CJ E&M’s gaming branch Netmarble.

There are two main things that CJ E&M has gained from the sale of CJ Games shares.  First, CJ E&M has finally rid itself of the issue regarding the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (hereinafter the FTA.) With the limitations set upon by the provision of the share rate control of sub-sub-subsidiary company, the FTA, newly amended in 2013, requires the parent company to either separate or completely acquire shares in its subsidiaries. CJ E&M had been riddled with the rumors of selling CJ Games after a rupture of investment from STIC Investment last year.

However, with CJ E&M stepping down from the largest shareholder position, the previous limitations of the FTA has now been lifted.  In fact, CJ Games was able to acquire Netmarble thanks to Tencent’s investment. With its separation from CJ E&M, it has now improved its competitiveness in the industry by combining the previously separated development and the business capabilities.

The tie between CJ Games and CJ E&M is still tight though, because Bang now sits as CJ Games’s largest shareholder while still being CJ E&M’s second largest shareholder.

Second of the two is that CJ E&M has now begun its official globalization in China with this deal. Tencent has already started the licensing of CJ E&M’s <Dice Venture>, <Everybody PawPawPaw>, and more for China in January.

This new deal appears to be the groundwork for strengthening the relationship of the two companies. Tencent possesses the ‘WeChat’ platform, a mobile messenger app that rivals the scale of Korea’s most influential mobile app KakaoTalk.

Nexon’s Kim Jung-Joo purchases overseas stroller company

Kim Jung-Joo, the founder of Nexon Corporation as well as the current President of NXC Corporation, has purchased an overseas stroller company Stokke AS.

Numerous foreign press, including the Bloomberg L.P, announced on the 13th that NXMH BVBA’s (NXC’s investment focused branch) Belgian office became the official owner of the Norwegian infant merchandise company Stokke AS.  The official transaction amount was not revealed, but foreign press are estimating the transaction to be around 472 million US dollars.


Stokke AS is a company established in 1932 that has been producing high-end infant merchandise such as strollers and infant beds, and is present in over 60 countries across the globe.  An NXC personnel has commented that “NXMH BVBA is a very creative company and it has been investing in many companies that contribute to the society.  This purchase is one based on same principals, and it has been in preparation since Q2 of 2013.”

A Nexon personnel has also commented on this purchase saying that “Stokke AS is a company that contributes to the society by producing quality infant merchandise.  We think that the intentions of Stokke AS and that of ours is similar in that both provide services in the interest of children; and it is because of this that we expect great synergy between the two companies.”  Nexon also spoke highly of Stokke AS’ stability and its vision for the future.

Now that the transaction is complete, NXC plans to fully support the growth of Stokke AS.  A Nexon personnel commented that: “We plan to respect the experience that Stokke AS has accumulated, and we plan give all the aid we can in helping it become prominent in the global market.  We plan to assist Stokke AS’ current executives in achieving this dream.”

With the previous purchase of Lego trading site ‘BrickLink’ back in June, this is the second time that NXC purchased a non-gaming company this year.