* Could be S.Korea's 2nd-largest listing ever
* Netmarble's recent blockbuster game raised valuation
* Netmarble IPO to raise funds for M&A
(Adds milestone, background)
SEOUL, March 17 (Reuters) - Netmarble Games Corp, South
Korea's largest mobile gaming company, is considering an initial
public offering worth up to about 2.9 trillion won ($2.56
billion) in what could be South Korea's second-largest listing
ever, a source with direct knowledge said on Friday.
The value of the IPO, which could be about 2.2 - 2.9
trillion won, is based on an expected indicative price range of
about 130,000 won to 173,000 won per share, the source said.
If the pricing is not at the bottom of the range, the
listing on the KOSPI is expected to be the
second-largest ever for the bourse behind the 4.9 trillion won
listing of Samsung Life Insurance in 2010.
The numbers could be subject to change before a securities
report is submitted to regulators, the source said. The source
was not authorised to speak to media and thus declined to be
A spokesman for Netmarble, which is backed by China's
Tencent Holdings, declined to comment.
Analysts have revised up Netmarble's estimated market
capitalisation to between 10 to 15 trillion won after its
blockbuster mobile game "Lineage 2: Revolution" posted record
sales since its December release in South Korea.
Netmarble, which is listing to raise funds for mergers and
acquisitions, aims to raise its ranking in key markets to reach
its goal of becoming a global top 5 game company by 2020,
Netmarble founder Bang Jun-hyuk told Reuters in January.
The company received Korean exchange approval for an IPO in
December 2016. JP Morgan and NH Investment & Securities are
advising the IPO.
Tencent owned a 22.2 percent stake in Netmarble as of
Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd's IPO raised 2.25
trillion won in November 2016, in South Korea's second-largest
($1 = 1,132.6200 won)
(Reporting by Changho Lee; Writing by Joyce Lee; Editing by