One of South Korea’s biggest mobile games companies Netmarble has applied for preliminary approval to the Korea Exchange to launch its long-awaited initial public offering.
According to the Korean Herald, the company’s market value is priced at around $9 billion. It is anticipated the company will go public in late 2016 or early 2017.
The move will likely see the company increase activity in studio acquisitions and investment.
Earlier this year it invested $130 million into US casual games developer SGN, now known as Jam City. It also attempted to buy social casino operator Playtika for up to $4.3 billion, but was outbid by a Chinese consortium that offered $4.4 billion for the company..
Netmarble has a number of big backers behind it. Tencent owns a share in the company following a $500 million investment in the publisher two years ago.
South Korean games publisher NCSoft is also another stakeholder in the company.
Netmarble made $800 million from sales in 2015 from its games such as Marvel Future Fight, Seven Knights and Monster Taming.
The company was named the 15th top mobile games company in PocketGamer.biz’s Top 50 developer list for 2016.