PUBG Maker Krafton Aims for Up to $5 Billion in South Korea’s Biggest IPO

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Krafton, the South Korean company behind blockbuster video game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”, said on Wednesday its IPO would raise up to SKW 5.6 trillion (roughly Rs. 36,730 crores) at the top of an indicative range, which would be a record for the country.

Krafton said in a regulatory filing it expected to offer 10 million shares, including 7 million new shares and 3 million existing shares, at an indicative range of SKW 458,000 (roughly Rs. 30,000) – SKW 557,000 (roughly Rs. 36,500) per share.

At the top of the range, this would be South Korea’s largest listing, beating Samsung Life Insurance’s SKW 4.9 trillion (roughly Rs. 32,170 crores) IPO in 2010.

The pricing is expected to be decided in the coming weeks.

Krafton’s online multiplayer war-fighting game PUBG has sold 25 million copies on PC and game consoles, becoming one of the fastest-selling games since its launch in 2017.

Krafton is planning to release two new games this year based on the PUBG intellectual property (IP), including mobile game “PUBG: New State” and “Battlegrounds Mobile India” targeting the Indian market.

The company is also expanding to areas such as web-based cartoons, movies, and animation, and developing a deep learning, AI business model targeting consumers.

It reported SKW 1.67 trillion (roughly Rs. 10,970 crores) in revenue in 2020, and its operating profit more than doubled from the previous year to SKW 774 billion (roughly Rs. 5,080 crores).

Mirae Asset Securities is lead advisor for the IPO, while Credit Suisse, NH Investment & Securities, Citigroup and JP Morgan are also advisors.

South Korea is experiencing its hottest IPO market on record with analysts expecting at least SKW 20 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,31,340 crores) to be raised in 2021, or about four times above 2020 levels.

“This year is unprecedented in the concentration of huge new listings on the KOSPI with market capitalisations that range from trillions of won to tens of trillions of won,” said Choi Jong-kyung, analyst at Heungkuk Securities.

© Thomson Reuters 2021




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