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TPG likely to generate high returns from investments in Kakao affiliates Corporate values of KakaoBank and Kakao Mobility more than doubled

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-07-28 07:52:47

이 기사는 2021년 07월 28일 07:49 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Global private equity (PE) firm TPG’s early investments in South Korean internet giant Kakao’s affiliates are starting to bear fruit.

KakaoBank’s initial public offering (IPO) received 258.5 billion won ($224 million) in bids from institutions in its recent bookbuilding process, the largest amount ever in the country’s IPO history, industry sources said Monday.

The bank’s IPO price has been set at 39,000 won, the top end of its proposed price range, which will make KakaoBank’s corporate value reach 18.53 trillion won. “Foreign investors have recently paid strong attention to fintech firms,” said an industry source. “Demands for KakaoBank were strong as there are few fintech investment opportunities in Asia in the second half of this year.”

TPG is likely to generate handsome returns as KakaoBank’s IPO price has been set at the highest end of the range despite controversy over the overvaluation. TPG invested 250 billion won in KakaoBank in the second half of 2020 in a deal which valued the lender at around 8.6 trillion won. The value surpassed Woori Financial Holdings’ corporate value of 7.2 trillion won and was close to Hana Financial Group’s 10.8 trillion won, with some raising questions about the online bank's lofty valuation.

But KakaoBank’s value more than doubled in 10 months and is expected to surpass 20 trillion won after the listing. After the lock-up period of about six months, TPG is expected to generate high returns from what would be the first exit since its entry in Korea in 2016.

TPG’s first portfolio company Kakao Mobility is also showing positive performance. TPG invested 500 billion won in Kakao Mobility in 2017 in a deal that valued the company at 1.6 trillion won. Kakao Mobility has grown at a rapid pace and raised funds from global companies this year. The company raised 220 billion won from Carlyle in February and 56.5 billion won from Google in March.

TPG and Carlyle put additional 130 billion won and 9 billion won, respectively, into Kakao Mobility in June, following National Pension Service’s decision to invest 110 billion won. Earlier this month, LG invested 100 billion won in Kakao Mobility, reportedly valuing the company at more than 4 trillion won. Kakao Mobility’s corporate value has increased by nearly 2.5 times in just four years, with its valuation likely to increase further as it prepares for an IPO next year. (Reporting by Se-hun Jo)
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