Kim Jung-ju, founder of Nexon, is putting up approximately 98.64 percent of the company up for sale.
Kim, the owner of Nexon's holding company NXC, stands to earn nearly 10 billion dollars from the sale if it goes through. According to Reuters, Kim owns about 64.49 percent of the shares, while his director wife You Jung-hyun owns around 29.43 percent. Kim's company Wisekids owns another 1.72 percent.
According to a source close to the newspaper Hankyung, Kim has grown tired of increasingly frustrating regulations and a legal battle where it was alleged Kim was guilty of corruption on various levels – he was found innocent of wrongdoing, incidentally.
You might recognize Nexon from games like the wildly popular MapleStory and its recently-released sequel, MapleStory 2, though the company has had its hands in several cookie jars over the years with multiple projects.
Kotaku reports that Korean gaming site Gamemeca reached out to the holding company NXC, where a representative stated the following:
"The reports about CEO Kim Jung-ju looking to sell his shares because of increasing regulations and mentioning about being tired from regulations is different from the truth. We are in the process of verifying the sales and it’s taking a bit of time because of issues with our official announcement. Regardless of that fact, we are trying to make an announcement about this as soon as possible but it may be in the days that follow."
In terms of potential suitors for the deal, Tencent is reported as eyeing the purchase, as is Electronic Arts. The most likely turn of events will be Tencent emerging with control of the company, but there's no indication as to which direction this sale will end up going. It remains to be seen who will gain control of the company, but this is a very big shakeup that Shacknews will be keeping its eyes on. Stay tuned for additional details as more information slips out regarding this strange new turn for Nexon and its founder.