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Kakao Pay likely to delay IPO schedule due to problem with prospectus

(Kakao Pay)
(Kakao Pay)
Kakao Pay, the financial technology arm of mobile giant Kakao, is likely to push back its initial public offering schedule as South Korea’s financial authority asked the company to make some corrections to its prospectus Friday.

According to DART, the Financial Supervisory Service’s electronic disclosure board, Kakao Pay was ordered to either add or clarify important information on a prospectus it filed on July 2 as part of the registration process to go public.

The FSS issues such order if there is false information, an omission of important facts, or content that may undermine investors’ reasonable investment judgment or mislead them in a significant way.

Some investment banking sources told The Korea Herald that Kakao Pay might end up delaying its IPO schedule. The company previously announced its plan to wrap up a two-day book-building process on July 30, while opening a retail tranche on Aug. 4 and 5 after fixing an exact share price.

A Kakao Pay official said it wouldn’t comment on it yet since the company received an unexpected request from the authority and it needs further discussion on the matter with its IPO underwriters as well.

Upon the watchdog’s request, Kakao Pay has to submit its revised prospectus within three months. Otherwise, the company’s current registration statement is automatically withdrawn, the DART statement read.

An FSS official declined to comment further besides saying that it asked Kakao Pay to correct various parts of its registration statement, including the company’s valuation. Ahead of the authority’s request, the company has faced scrutiny from the market over its “overrated” valuation.

According to its prospectus, the Kakao’s financial unit seeks to raise up to 1.63 trillion won ($1.43 billion) by offering 17 million new shares at between 63,000 won and 96,000 won apiece.

While Kakao Pay’s market capitalization after listing is expected to reach 12.55 trillion won, the company’s lead underwriters -- Samsung Securities, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan -- had valued the firm by comparing it against US-based PayPal Holdings and Square and Brazil’s PagSeguro Digital.

The watchdog has recently been more forthright about asking companies pushing for mega-IPOs to correct their prospectuses. Earlier this month, local game developer Krafton reduced its target price band and the number of new shares it would issue ahead of its market debut on the country’s benchmark Kospi next month due to a request from the FSS. COVID-19 test kits maker SD Biosensor also reduced its IPO size ahead of its market debut Friday. Two firms were forced to delay their IPO schedules as well.

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