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Nexon Buys $685 Million Stake in NCSoft, Becomes Biggest Holder

Nexon Co. (3659), a Tokyo-based maker of online games, bought a 804.5 billion won ($685 million) stake in NCSoft Corp. (036570) to become the South Korean company’s biggest shareholder.

Nexon purchased 3.2 million NCSoft shares, a 14.7 percent stake, from NCSoft Chairman Kim Taek-Jin for 250,000 won apiece, it said in a statement today. That’s 6.7 percent less than today’s closing price in Seoul for NCSoft, which offers online games including Lineage and Aion.

Nexon sees “a lot of opportunities” for acquisitions in Asia, North America, and Europe, Chief Financial Officer Owen Mahoney said last month. The Tokyo-based company is interested in investing in companies that develop games for Facebook Inc. and mobile-phone users, he said at the time.

NCSoft, based in Seoul, rose 0.4 percent to 268,000 won in trading on the city’s stock exchange today before the announcement. Nexon fell 0.2 percent to 1,319 yen on the Tokyo stock exchange today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net

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