GIC, Saudi wealth fund to invest $785m in South Korea's Kakao Entertainment: report

GIC, Saudi wealth fund to invest $785m in South Korea's Kakao Entertainment: report

Photo: Kakao Entertainment Asia

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) plan to invest $785 million in South Korean entertainment company Kakao Entertainment, The Korea Times reported on Monday.

Kakao Entertainment, a subsidiary of South Korean internet company Kakao, plans to use the new capital to accelerate its growth as the company prepares for its upcoming IPO this year.

Founded in 2021, Kakao Entertainment runs a global platform for webtoons, web novels, music, dramas, movies, and performances as well as managing K-pop artists. The company acquired US-based Tapas Media and Radish Media, and South Korea-based music streaming service Melon Company in 2021.

Kakao Entertainment Corp’s initial public offering is due this year.

PIF and GIC were reportedly in talks to jointly pump in up to $591 million in Kakao Entertainment last year following Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s much-hyped visit to Seoul. The trip produced a raft of investment deals for Korean conglomerates worth $30 billion, according to local media.

In May last year, PIF took a 5.01% stake in Nintendo as part of a plan by the sovereign wealth fund to increase its exposure to the video gaming industry. The PIF has also launched its own video game and e-sports company, Savvy Gaming.

PIF, which is chaired by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an anchor investor in SoftBank Group Corp’s $100 billion Vision Fund but also invests independently.

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