Kakao Pay’s Seoul IPO Raises $1.3B at Top of Range

S. Korea, Kakao Pay, IPO, top of range, mobile payments

South Korea’s biggest digital payments platform Kakao Pay raised $1.28 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) priced at the top of its range, according to multiple reports on Friday (Oct. 22).

The company’s 17 million shares sold at 90,000 won ($76) per share after previous marketing pegged the shares at 60,000 won ($51) to 90,000 won each. The shares were originally intended to go for 96,000 won ($81) per share but the company cut its target by 6% two months ago.

Launched in 2014 in Jeju, Cheju-do, South Korea and backed by Ant Group, the payments firm was originally hoping to go public on the Korea Stock Exchange (KRX) this month but is now planning for a listing date of Nov. 3.

In July, Kakao Pay was directed by Korean regulators to revise its prospectus.

See also: South Korea’s Kakao Pay Delays $1.3B IPO Over Regulatory Concerns

Its sister company, KakaoBank, raised $2.3 billion in Korea’s second-largest IPO this year. Holding company and mobile messaging service Kakao Corp. holds a 55% stake in Kakao Pay, while Ant Group’s Alipay holds a 45% stake, according to the filing.

The region’s antitrust watchdog Financial Supervisory Service had been scrutinizing Kakao and its affiliates, and the regulatory risk for Kakao Corp had to be adequately addressed before public offerings could move ahead.

Kakao Pay sells a wide range of financial products but suspended its insurance services in a move to meet the guidelines set forth by regulators in the country.

Read more: S.Korean Digital Bank Kakao Soars To Biggest Lender In Epic Trading Debut

“Greater regulation of internet companies is a global trend that has escalated in China and began recently in South Korea,” Marvin Chen, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, wrote in a note before Kakao Pay’s IPO.

The main underwriters for the deal are Samsung Securities, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

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