Kakao Games, Vespa, SNK plan IPOs this year
[THE INVESTOR] Game companies Kakao Games, Vespa Interactive and SNK are seeking to float their shares in Korea this year, hoping to join industry giants like Netmarble and Nexon, according to industry sources on June 25.
Kakao Games, Korea’s top mobile messenger firm’s game subsidiary, passed the preliminary approval for IPO on Korea’s secondary bourse KOSDAQ last week, with plans to go public in August.
Touted as one of the largest IPOs this year, the company’s listing is expected to raise around 124.1 billion won (US$111.56 million) to 192.3 billion won of funds, with the market valuation reaching 1.9 trillion won.
Established in 2013, Kakao Games posted 162.3 billion won in sales and 32.3 billion won operating profit last year. Investors expect the firm, which began publishing the Korean version of hit game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” by Bluehole, to record higher profits this year. Its successful IPO will be a boon for parent company Kakao, which owns 60.4 percent stake. Korea Investment & Securities is managing the IPO.
Midsized game firm Vespa Interactive, known for mobile role-playing game “King’s Raid,” is also planning to file for a preliminary screening at KOSDAQ next month. It has named Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities as the lead manager.
Established in 2013, it is enjoying recent success on the back of popularity of “King’s Raid” that was released in February last year, followed by the US, Southeast Asia and Europe debut.
Its revenue came to 31.1 billion won last year, in comparison to 100 million won in 2016. It swung to black last year with 6.8 billion won operating profit.
Japanese gaming firm SNK, which is behind “The King of Fighters,” too is seeking to go public on KOSDAQ. Last month, it filed for a pre-IPO consultation -- the required procedure for non-Korean firms before the preliminary screening -- with the Korea Exchange. NH Investment & Securities is managing its listing.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)