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Naver reshuffles internet cartoon business, seeks global expansion

Naver on Thursday said that it plans to make its US-based unit Webtoon Entertainment the head office for online cartoon businesses.

The latest restructuring plan comes amid the South Korean internet giant’s efforts to expand its online cartoon business abroad.

As part of the plan, California-based Webtoon Entertainment will purchase all stocks of Line Digital Frontier, the company’s Japanese internet cartoon unit. It will cost the US unit some 232 billion won ($187 million). The transaction will take place during the second half this year, while Webtoon Entertainment will also issue 70 million stocks to Line.

The company said it plans to eventually reorganize Korea-based Naver Webtoon under Webtoon Entertainment.

In the meantime, Webtoon Entertainment will soon start taking initiatives to expand its services in foreign nations, including in Europe and South America.

Naver is also expected to seek new opportunities in the intellectual property market.

Its cartoon platform currently has 62 million monthly active users, the largest online cartoon platform in the world, according to the company.

By Shim Woo-hyun (