Netmarble Games, Korea’s No. 2 game developer, said this week it is seeking an initial public offering later this year in Korea or in other countries such as the U.S. as part of its global expansion plans according to a report at Korea Herald.

netmarble global“A Nasdaq debut will give us a lot of media attention, which is crucial for our global success. But we are also considering to list on the Seoul bourse,” said Netmarble founder and senior adviser Bang Jun-huk. He said more details of the planned public listing, including the price, would be discussed when an IPO adviser is decided soon. Analysts estimate the company’s market value at about 4 trillion won ($3.3 billion). The company’s IPO comes after its annual sales exceeded the 1 trillion won mark last year, largely driven by its hit mobile games such as “Monster Taming,” “Everyone’s Marble,” “Seven Knights” and “Raven.”

The company’s key investors include its Korean rival NC Soft and China’s Tencent. Based on its mobile leadership, the company outpaced NC Soft in 2014 in terms of sales, becoming the No. 2 game developer here after Nexon. “While Korean game makers have focused on the domestic market after several failed attempts to go global, our global rivals, especially those from China, are pouring considerable resources into their overseas expansion,” Bang said.

“Through the IPO, we will make more aggressive investments for merger and acquisitions and global business overall.” The company, which now gets 40 percent of its revenue from overseas, said it aims to increase the figure to more than 50 percent this year. China, Japan and the U.S. are the top three target markets. It also will ramp up efforts not just to develop its own titles but also to expand partnerships with global movie and cartoon studios to elevate its brand awareness around the world.

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The company has already teamed up with Disney to feature its popular superhero and villain characters in its mobile games such as “Everyone’s Marble” and “Marvel Future Fight.”

“Netmarble will become a pioneer for the global success of the Korean game industry,” Bang said.

Source: Korea Herald

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