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SK Square subsidiaries’ IPO plans complicated by cooling market 11 Street, Wavve, T Map are next in IPO queue following setbacks of SK shieldus, One Store

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2022-05-16 08:05:37

이 기사는 2022년 05월 16일 08:03 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

SK Square has been hamstrung by the cooling of the South Korean initial public offering market in its efforts to grow its net asset value, as two of its subsidiaries canceled their IPO plans back to back due to tepid investor interest amid heightened market uncertainty.

One Store, SK Square’s app store unit, formally withdrew its IPO application on May 11. The setback came days after SK shieldus, the security subsidiary of SK Square, canceled its IPO on May 6.

SK Square, the intermediate investment holding company of SK Group, was established in November last year after being spun off from SK Telecom. The company then unveiled a goal to triple its consolidated net asset value to 75 trillion won ($58 billion) by 2025. The IPOs of SK shieldus and One Store were seen as the first step to achieve that goal.

However, both subsidiaries of SK Square ultimately opted to drop their IPO plans after weak investor interest resulted in corporate values far below their price range.

“We received a positive response from many institutional investors about our fundamentals in the IPO process,” One Store said. “But with investor sentiment sharply dampened amid the global macro uncertainty, we decided to postpone the IPO and will reconsider the timing in the future when market conditions improve enough to value the company properly.”

This represented a drastic reversal from the company’s strong commitment to a public listing. One Store chief executive Lee Jae-hwan had ruled out the possibility of the company calling off the IPO as recently as two days before its withdrawal.

SK Square’s other subsidiaries that are in the queue for IPOs include ecommerce platform 11 Street, streaming service Content Wavve and taxi-hailing service T Map Mobility. 11 Street is in the process of hiring underwriters to handle its IPO. The other two companies also unveiled their flotation plans, although they did not give details about the timeline.

T Map Mobility previously told its financial investors that it would complete the IPO by 2025. It remains flexible in its flotation plan, so there is a possibility that T Map Mobility could go public sooner than its sister companies, industry watchers said.

“It is difficult to predict which subsidiary of SK Square will file for an IPO next,” an industry insider said. “Their decisions will depend on market conditions.”

It is also expected that SK Square will be more cautious about the overlap of IPOs of its subsidiaries in the future.

The planned public listing of One Store was just one week away from that of SK shieldus. This had sparked concerns about potential cannibalization, especially amid reduced market liquidity and weak investor demand. (Reporting by Jang-jun Lee)
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