Woongjin Coway sale takes new turn after Netmarble bid
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.