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Kakao Pay eyes IPO next year

(Kakao Pay)
(Kakao Pay)
After the successful market debut of its online games unit earlier this month, Korean mobile messenger giant Kakao is gearing up for another initial public offering next year, this time with its payment services unit, industry sources said Monday.

Kakao Pay is set for an IPO during the first half of next year, the company said, adding that it had recently chosen local brokerage firm KB Securities as its leading underwriter. The company plans to apply for approval from the Financial Supervisory Service.

The payments unit is expected to become the second Kakao subsidiary to be listed in the local stock market, after Kakao Games. The gaming arm of Kakao made a stellar market debut on Kosdaq on Sept. 10.

Kakao Pay has not decided where to list its shares, but the company appears to believe that it meets the IPO requirements for both the nation’s main bourse, Kospi, and its tech-heavy Kosdaq market.

“We are preparing to go public in the first half of next year. By raising capital, we’ll secure new growth engines and seek business growth,” a Kakao Pay official said.

Founded in 2017, the country’s leading electronic payment service provider attracted 34 million users with the combined value of their payments reaching nearly 29.1 trillion won ($24.8 billion) as of the first half of this year.

Kakao, the largest shareholder in Kakao Pay, holds a stake of 56.1 percent. Ant Financial, the financial arm of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, owns 43.9 percent.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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