Nexon pumps cash into Hollywood production company
Nexon will invest $400 million in a 38 percent stake in AGBO, a production company founded by a pair of Hollywood film director brothers.
Through the deal, the Korea-founded and Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Nexon will have the second largest stake in AGBO after that held by AGBO’s three founders and other directors.
AGBO is a studio founded in 2017 by directors Anthony and Joe Russo and producer Mike Larocca. It has produced hits such as the “Deadly Class” drama series and the Netflix original film “Extraction,” the third-most watched film in Netflix’s history.
The investment will give AGBO a value of $1.1 billion, according to Nexon. The company may invest an additional $100 million within the first half of this year if AGBO requests it, a spokesperson said.
“AGBO’s partnership with Nexon represents a significant juncture for entertainment, furthering the convergence of franchise filmmaking and games with a global reach,” said the Russo brothers, who are also executive chairmen of AGBO, in a press release.
“Our collaboration is based on our shared vision of the future of storytelling and utilizes the unique talents of both companies.”
This is the first investment deal to be led by Nick Van Dyk, head of the Nexon Film and Television unit, which was established last year to focus on development of Nexon’s games, such as KartRider, Maple Story, Kingdom of the Winds and Dungeon Fighter, into film or television programs. Van Dyk joined Nexon in August.
Van Dyk will join AGBO’s board of directors with Tim Connors, the vice president of Nexon Film and Television.
Before joining Nexon, Van Dyk spent 10 years at Disney and played major roles in the company’s acquisition of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. From 2014 to 2019, he founded and served as president of the film and television division of Activision Blizzard Studios from 2014 to 2019.
Currently under production by AGBO are “Extraction 2” starring Chris Hemsworth and an action-thriller called “The Gray Man” with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling.
“Film and television have been proven to drive higher engagement and longevity for game franchises,” Van Dyk said in a press release.
“We are thrilled to work with AGBO to design universes that, from the outset, are intended to coexist across games, film, TV, merchandising, and other experiences.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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