South Korea’s SK Square is poised for two stock market flotations of its key affiliates – a mobile app marketplace and a security service – on the Korea Exchange in May, filings showed on April 4.
The initial public offerings (IPO) of the subsidiaries will amount to up to 1.33 trillion won ($1.09 billion) if combined, in the first two attempts since SK Square was spun off from Korea’s largest telecom carrier SK Telecom.
SK Shieldus, a security service subsidiary of SK Square formerly known as ADT Caps, aims to attract up to 1.05 trillion won by offering 27.1 million shares in an IPO that is scheduled to last until May 10. NH Investment & Securities, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse will underwrite the IPO.
Meanwhile, One Store, a homegrown app marketplace operator for smartphones using the Android operating system, aims to float 6.66 million shares in exchange for up to 277.7 billion won. NH Investment & Securities and KB Securities will be lead underwriters of the deal.
SK Square did not immediately announce a share sale plan for either of the affiliates in the process of the IPOs, each prospectus showed.
Instead, financial investors will relish a partial exit opportunity.
Macquarie Korea Asset Management, a minority shareholder of SK Shieldus, would be able to cash in on up to 490.7 billion won, while its sales price might vary depending on the book-building result for institutional investors. A Macquarie subsidiary currently holds a 36.87 per cent stake in SK Shieldus.
As for One Store, a group of minority shareholders led by Seoul-based SKS Private Equity and Kiwoom Investment looks to float their shares in return for as much as 80.69 billion won.
Korea’s capital market saw a combined 13.4 trillion won in proceeds from IPOs in the first quarter of 2022, a record quarterly figure, supported by a 12.8 trillion-won mega IPO of battery maker LG Energy Solution.
The news comes shortly after SK Square pledged to take its portfolio firms public in a shareholders meeting on March 28, in a bid to enhance SK Square’s shareholder value.
SK Square spun off from SK Telecom in November, and its portfolio firms include memory chip maker SK hynix, e-commerce platform 11st, advertising company Incross and mobility service firm T Map Mobility, as well as One Store and SK Shieldus.
After a carve-out, SK Square added digital asset exchange Korbit, Kakao-backed virtual human maker Onmind and agricultural technology firm Green Labs to its group of portfolio firms.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK