Saudi fund buys more shares in NCSoft
The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought a 6.69 percent stake in game publisher NCSoft, becoming the fourth-largest shareholder.
PIF, a $500-billion sovereign wealth fund chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, posted a filing through its local attorney Kim & Chang on Wednesday saying it acquired 1.47 million shares of NCSoft as of Wednesday, or 793 billion won ($664 million) worth based on the company’s closing stock price on Wednesday, 540,000 won.
The law requires shareholder with more than 5 percent stakes to state the volume and purpose of their ownership of a company. As of Jan. 26, PIF had already owned 4.98 percent of NCSoft.
The news came after PIF disclosed in a filing last Thursday that it purchased 5 percent of Seoul-founded and Tokyo-listed Nexon and Japanese game company Capcom.
PIF said that the purchases of Nexon and NCSoft shares were for “pure investment” purposes.
The Saudi Arabian fund is diversifying its income sources from oil and gas and expanding its portfolio into digital businesses such as Esports and games.
It acquired Japanese game company SNK, the developer of the King of Fighters combat video game franchise, in 2020. Last year, it invested $3 billion in game companies including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software.
Last month, PIF bought ESL Gaming, a major Esports company, for $1 billion and Faceit for $500 million. PIF will merge the two companies to form ESL Faceit Group under the Savvy Gaming Group, a new game company.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]