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Kakao Games submits request for IPO screening
Posted on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 13:55
South Korean Internet group Kakao is a step closer to listing Kakao Games as the video game arm has submitted a request for a preliminary screening for an initial public offering on the second-tier of KOSDAQ. The country’s dominant messaging services provider did not give further details of the listing, which includes Korea Investment and Securities acting as sole underwriter to the sale of 6.20 million shares. According to the Korea Herald, if the bourse approves the process, Kakao Games could launch a listing at the end of 2018. The newspaper, citing a Samsung Securities’ report, said the online, mobile and virtual reality gaming software developer and publisher is worth roughly USD 1.40 billion. Kakao Games has expanded from being a home-grown game distributor into an international player with a presence across North America, Europe and parts of Asia, thanks, in part, to its social aspect with KakaoTalk. Earlier this year, the subsidiary secured financing of KRW 140.00 billion (USD 130.94 million) from a raft of investors that included Tencent and Netmarble, among others. It plans to use money raised from the likes of Bluehole Studio and Actozsoft for securing games, strengthening development capability, expanding globally, mergers and acquisitions, and bankrolling growth. Kakao Games has its sights firmly fixed on pushing further into overseas markets, investing in platforms and sourcing games. The group is already known for publishing the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Black Desert Online in North America and Europe. In the first three months of 2018, the subsidiary generated revenue of KRW 105.59 billion (Q1 2017: KRW 80.29 billion). Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows that 35 South Korean companies have announced or completed an IPO so far this calendar year. Currently, the largest by value is Tway Air, which is aiming to raise USD 282.36 million when it debuts. © Zephus Ltd