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Pre-IPOs

Anchor Equity, TPG invest $500 mn in Korean mobile banking app

Nov 17, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Hong Kong-based Anchor Equity Partners has agreed to invest 250 billion won ($226 million) to buy new shares in South Korea’s KakaoBank, shortly after TPG injected the same amount into the mobile banking app last week in a pre-IPO investment.

Anchor Equity is set to acquire 10.64 million common shares in KakaoBank for 23,500 won apiece in a third-party placement, the Korean company said in a statement on Nov. 17. Conditions of the share sale are similar to those signed with TPG, which completed the capital injection on Nov. 12.

Including the proceeds from the rights issue, the unit of South Korea’s top online messaging app Kakao Corp. will raise a combined 1 trillion won in fresh capital by the end of this year. It has placed 500 billion won worth of new shares to its existing shareholders. After the rights offering, its paid-capital will swell to 2.8 trillion won.

KakaoBank, about 30% owned by Kakao Corp., said the pre-IPO deals would not affect its IPO plan. It will continue to receive underwriting proposals from brokerage firms this month, it added.

In September, the banking arm announced a plan to go public in the second half of next year to fund business expansion. 

Prior to investing in the banking app, Anchor Equity has already invested in two other Kakao Corp.’s units – Kakao Page and Kakao M Corp. In March, it invested 210 billion won in Kakao M to become its No. 2 shareholder.

Its Korean portfolio includes coffee house chain A Twosome Place and JB Financial Group.

TPG has also invested 500 billion won in Kakao Mobility, a taxi-hailing and chauffeur services provider, to acquire about a 30% stake in 2017.

Write to Jun-ho Cha at chacha@hankyung.com

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.

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