One of South Korea’s top gaming firms, Nexon, is preparing to acquire the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange for around $460 million, local news outlet Maekyung reported on 7 January.
According to the publication, the gaming company has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bithumb to acquire 65% stake in the exchange at an evaluated price of 650 billion won (around $460 million). Nexon is reportedly working with one of the major shareholders of the exchange, Vidente, to broker the deal, which will give Nexon control over the exchange.
Considering the exchange’s existing shares are trading at a total value of 1 trillion won ($914 million), Nexon’s takeover comes at a discounted price. If the acquisition goes successfully, Nexon will become the owner of three crypto exchanges, having previously acquired Bitstamp in October 2018, and Korbit in September 2017.
The news outlet further stated that the deal has been in the works since late August. In September, Bithumb held a preliminary bidding with a number of financial and strategic investors, including domestic and foreign private equity fund managers.
It remains unknown, however, if the sale will go through smoothly considering the legal troubles the exchange is in right now. The exchange and its chairman Lee Jung Hoon were under investigation by local authorities for pre-selling Bithumb’s native token BXA for around $27 million to investors, and then not releasing the token.