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E-book platform Millie’s Library to go public by end of 2022

Corporate logo of Millie’s Library (Millie’s Library)
Corporate logo of Millie’s Library (Millie’s Library)

Millie’s Library, one of South Korea’s largest e-book subscription platform, said Sunday that it is set for a market debut by the end of this year.

The company filed a preliminary prospectus on Friday stating that it will offer 2 million common shares out of the total 8,234,901 shares. If the initial public offering process goes as planned, it will be the country’s first e-book platform to go public.

Its shares are poised to start trading on the Korea Exchange’s secondary Kosdaq. The lead manager of the envisioned IPO is Mirae Asset Securities.

The corporate value of Millie’s Library is estimated to be around 300 billion won ($239 million), according to market insiders.

With funds raised from the IPO, the company plans to invest in the production of original book content as well as other content.

The company’s sales revenue surged on-year by 61 percent to 28.9 billion won last year. However, it posted an operating loss of 34.8 billion won, and has still not turned a profit.

Millie’s Library has been seeking to accelerate growth momentum after it was acquired by Genie Music, the music streaming platform under KT, in 2021. Genie Music currently holds 39 percent of the shares of the company.

Working with the KT artificial intelligence business unit, the e-book platform plans to create synergy with an AI-based audio platform to produce more content, including audiobooks.

Last year, Seo Young-taek, CEO of Millie’s Library, said if the company’s intellectual property-based business model is well received, its value will exceed the 500 billion won of Radish, the US webtoon platform acquired by Kakao Entertainment. In the long term, the company looks to achieve more than 1 trillion won in value, Seo added.

But concerns loom over the e-book platform’s debut amid a lackluster IPO market and an ongoing slump in platform giants such as Naver and Kakao, industry sources said. Naver’s stock price has traded below 300,000 won since late April, while Kakao is also showing sluggish movement between 80,000 and 90,000 won in the citied period.

“The company has grown exponentially to become the country’s largest online library platform in just six years. Based on our vision -- ‘become friends with an unlimited number of books’ -- we will expand the presence in the book content market,” Seo said in a statement.

Launched in 2017, Millie’s Library services 110,000 e-books through 1,400 publishers as of May. The company is the first here to provide an e-book subscription service. It produces audiobooks, “chat books,” which are books re-created in a chatting format, and audio dramas.

By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)
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