Games firm Netmarble to raise $2.35B in Korea’s largest IPO since 2010

Netmarble, one of the world’s top mobile and PC gaming firms, has filed to raise as much as $2.35 billion (2.66 trillion won) through an IPO in its native Korea.

The firm said in a filing [in Korean] that it will issue 16,953,612 new shares priced between 121,000-157,000 KRW each (that’s approximately $108-$140) with a view to raising up to 2.66 trillion won ($2.35 billion). A listing in that price range would give the company a valuation that’s just shy of $12 billion, not to mention it would represent Korea’s most lucrative listing since 2010.

Netmarble said the money raised will be used to pay off debts, invest in R&D and pursue investments and acquisitions. Founder Bang Jun-hyuk previously told Reuters he wants to make the company a top-five game publisher by 2020. The company counts Chinese giant Tencent, owner of Supercell, among its investor base courtesy of a $500 million investment in 2014. It recently scooped up most of U.S.-based Kabam’s assets in a deal valued around $700 million and a history of global M&A activity.

For its most recent financial year, Netmarble reported a net profit of 209 billion won ($187 million) on total sales of 1.5 trillion won ($1.34 billion). That revenue figure was up 40 percent year-on-year, with net profit improving from around $150 million in 2015.

Established in 2000, the company is both a game developer and a publisher. Its partners include Disney and it has a direct presence in more than seven countries worldwide, including the U.S., Japan, Turkey, Indonesia, China and Thailand. Analytics and tracking firm App Annie ranked Netmarble as the world’s ninth largest app publisher based on revenue from mobile in 2016. Its most popular titles include role-player game series Lineage, Marvel: Future Fight, StoneAge and Seven Knights.