Krafton Eyes Aggressive M&As After IPO | Be Korea-savvy

Krafton Eyes Aggressive M&As After IPO

This photo probided by Krafton Inc. shows the company's headquarters in Pangyo, south of Seoul.

This photo probided by Krafton Inc. shows the company’s headquarters in Pangyo, south of Seoul.

SEOUL, July 26 (Korea Bizwire)Krafton Inc., the video game company behind “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), said Monday it is aiming for aggressive mergers and acquisitions (M&As) after its initial public offering (IPO) next month, as it eyes to expand its foothold in the global video game market.

Krafton is scheduled to go public on the local bourse next month with a plan to raise as much as 4.3 trillion won (US$3.73 billion).

“Seventy percent of the funds secured from the IPO are planned to be used for global M&As,” Krafton’s Chief Financial Officer Bae Dong-keun said in an online press conference.

“Since two years ago, we have been building a database of intellectual property with potential and influential global developers and making contact with them.”

“There is respect from global game developers for the intellectual property that Krafton has, and in that sense, we have the potential to conduct successful M&As.”

The remaining 30 percent of the raised funds will be used to invest in new markets, including India, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in new infrastructure to develop new technology, such as deep learning, Bae added.

Established in 2007, Krafton has become a major contender in the global video game market on the back of its widely successful launch of PUBG in 2017.

The battle royale style game, in which users fight to be the last person alive, has been hugely popular, with Krafton selling over 75 million copies of the game for PCs and consoles.

The mobile version of the game has racked up over 1 billion downloads globally, excluding China.

A photo capture from the Facebook account of the mega-hit computer game "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds." (image: Bluehole Studio)

A photo capture from the Facebook account of the mega-hit computer game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.” (image: Bluehole Studio)

Bae was bullish about a successful IPO, citing big interest from global investors.

“There are selective long-term investors that have placed trust in us,” he said. “I think global investors view (Krafton) as a leading global creative company rather than a fast follower or simply an Asian company.”

The video game company is eyeing to build on PUBG’s universe for continued global expansion.

Krafton CEO Kim Chang-han said the company is set to globally launch its new in-house mobile game “PUBG: New State” as early as September.

The new battle royale game is developed by Krafton alone, according to Kim, unlike the original mobile version of PUBG, which is currently published by China’s Tencent outside of South Korea, Japan and India.

The company expects the new game to reduce worries that it is too reliant on the Chinese tech giant and market.

“Through directly offering our services … we believe that concerns of overreliance on certain countries will be naturally resolved,” Bae said.

It is also eyeing to diversify its portfolio, with the release of horror game “The Callisto Protocol” next year.


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