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Krafton’s chairman grants tag-along right to Tencent Chinese gaming giant is second largest shareholder in Korean game developer

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2022-01-21 08:19:05

이 기사는 2022년 01월 21일 08:06 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Image Frame Investment, a subsidiary of Chinese gaming giant Tencent, has a tag-along right granted to it by Krafton chairman Chang Byung-gyu, according to industry sources.

The Tencent subsidiary is the second largest shareholder of the South Korean game developer with a 13.27% stake, after Chang who owns 14.04% of the company. They entered into a tag-along agreement on August 9, 2021. Krafton went public on the Kospi on the following day.

Tag-along rights allow minority shareholders to take part in a sale of shares by the majority shareholder to a third party under the same terms and conditions.

Granting tag-along rights to minority shareholders is not typical in the gaming industry as this could signal investors that the largest shareholder can exit a company. Chang did previously exit firms he founded, such as internet community Neowiz and search engine First Snow.

Some observers say that securing tag-along rights could be part of Tencent’s exit strategy. The Chinese gaming company was also granted such a right by Kakao Corp, the largest shareholder of Kakao Games, in which it owns a 4.11% stake through its subsidiary Aceville Pte Ltd.

Netmarble’s top three shareholders – the gaming company’s chairman Bang Jun-hyuk (24.12%), CJ ENM (21.78%) and Tecent’s subsidiary Han River Investment Pte Ltd (17.52%) – also entered into a tag-along agreement. This means if Bang decides to offload his shares, a combined 63.41% stake in the company could be put up for sale.

This, however, was not the case for Kakao Corp, in which Tencent holds a roughly 6% stake through its subsidiary Maximo Pte Ltd. Maximo does not have a tag along right to sell its shares along with the shares held by Kakao Corp’s largest shareholder and chairman Kim Beom-su.

“Tencent has minority equity stakes in major South Korean gaming companies and publishes their titles in the Chinese market,” an industry insider said. “I think Tencent, as a minority shareholder, wanted to ensure an exit route by securing tag-along rights.” (Reporting by Choong-hee Won)
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