Woongjin Coway sale takes new turn af­ter Net­mar­ble bid

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS -

The sale of Woongjin Coway, Korea’s largest home ap­pli­ance rental ser­vice provider, has taken a turn af­ter the coun­try’s top mo­bile gam­ing com­pany Net­mar­ble made an un­ex­pected bid, in­dus­try in­sid­ers said Fri­day.

Net­mar­ble and U.S. pri­vate equity firm Bain Cap­i­tal were the two fi­nal bid­ders for a some 25 per­cent stake in Woongjin Coway, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try sources. The bid­ding closed Thurs­day.

Woongjin Group, which put its wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion mak­ing unit up for sale to im­prove its fi­nan­cial sta­tus, is ex­pected to se­lect the pre­ferred bid­der next week.

The sale of Woongjin Coway was about to end in dis­ap­point­ment af­ter ma­jor play­ers that joined the pre­lim­i­nary bid­ding, in­clud­ing SK Net­works, an­nounced they’re pulling out of the auc­tion. But Net­mar­ble’s join­ing is now reignit­ing in­ter­est in the sale of Woongjin Coway.

Mar­ket watch­ers said Net­mar­ble’s de­ci­sion to buy Woongjin Coway is in line with the com­pany’s re­cent moves to se­cure its new growth en­gine.

Net­mar­ble, which cre­ated hit mo­bile games like “Lin­eage 2: Rev­o­lu­tion” and “Stone Age,” bought a 25.71 per­cent stake in Big Hit En­ter­tain­ment, an en­ter­tain­ment agency of pop­u­lar K-pop band BTS, in April. It also in­vested in mo­bile gam­ing firm Kakao Games last year.

The com­pany was also linked with the ac­qui­si­tion of on­line game gi­ant Nexon.

Net­mar­ble said it was at­tracted by Woongjin Coway’s rental plat­form. Woongjin Coway is cur­rently the No. 1 player in the wa­ter pu­ri­fier and air pu­ri­fier rental mar­ket.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.