Kakao Games embarks on second IPO attempt

2020.07.24 10:56:49 | 2020.07.24 12:20:55

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Kakao Games Corp., the gaming unit of South Korea’s leading messenger app operator Kakao Corp., has been fast-tracked to go public on the secondary Kosdaq.

The multi-platform gaming company said Thursday its IPO filing won the preliminary go-ahead from the Korea Exchange, gaining eligibility for the fast-track status that cuts the review period from 45 working days to 30 days.

Korea Investment & Securities Co. and Samsung Securities Co. are lead underwriters for the offering. This is the company’s second IPO attempt after its withdrawal in 2018. It will be offering 16 million new shares to institutional and retail investors.

Kakao Games was created in April 2016 out of a merger between NZIN and Daum Game. It absorbed Kakao’s mobile gaming business unit in 2017 and quickly ascended to the top with the backing of its parent Kakao, operator of Korea’s most popular chat platform KakaoTalk.

It has published PC games including PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds, the mega-hit survival shooter game, and Pass of Exile, a classic hack-and-slash action role-playing game. Popular mobile games include Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, Princess Connect! Re: Dive, and FriendsTown.

Its second-half pipeline is also looking strong. Guardian Tales, its most recent mobile role-playing game released last week, is rapidly gaining traction. The company is also gearing up for the much-anticipated release of Elyon, its new massively multiplayer online-role playing game for the PC.

Kakao Games holds several other gaming companies under its wing. One of them is Kakao Friends, which is in charge of creating casual games featuring Kakao Friends characters. XLGAMES, developer of the games ArcheAge and Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, is also part of the Kakao Games family. New businesses are also being pursued by Life MMO, a gamification company, and Kakao VX, a developer of new experiential games using cutting-edge technologies.

Kakao Games reported a consolidated operating profit of 35 billion won ($29.2 million) on sales of 391 billion won last year. In the first quarter of 2020, it generated a profit of 12.7 billion won and revenue of 96.4 billion won. Its sales growth over the past three years has averaged nearly 57 percent.

“A Kosdaq listing will provide a foothold for Kakao Games to continue achieving steady growth,” said Nam Goong-hoon, chief executive of Kakao Games. “We want to take our operations global and actively venture into new businesses to make Korean games more known across the world.”

By Pulse

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