SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp. said Friday it will raise US$1 billion by selling shares to overseas investors, which will be used for merger and acquisition projects.
Kakao Corp. said its board of directors approved the plan to raise the cash by issuing global depository receipts (GDRs), which will be listed on the Singapore Exchange. The process will be finished around February.
Industry watchers said the funds generated will be used to secure core technologies to beef up the firm’s competitiveness in the artificial intelligence segment. Kakao also plans to acquire stakes in various game, cartoon and music content providers.
Kakao said the program is aimed at preparing for competitions with global information and telecommunications technology companies, and secure growth engines for the future. It will seek to secure companies with potential and profitability, it added.
In 2016, Kakao purchased a 76.4 percent stake in LOEN Entertainment Inc. at a deal estimated at 1.87 trillion won (US$1.71 billion). LOEN operates South Korea’s major music streaming service MelOn.