[THE INVESTOR] Kakao Pay, mobile messenger giant Kakao’s payment subsidiary, on Oct.1 said it has acquired local midsized brokerage firm Baro Investment & Securities in a move to expand its financial services.
The company disclosed that it has become the brokerage’s largest shareholder, but declined to divulge the deal value. Industry sources, however, said it paid about 40 billion won (US$36.02 million) for around 55 percent stake in the brokerage held by Shinhan Capital.
“This acquisition is the first step for the firm to jump into the financial business,” said Kakao Pay CEO Ryu Young-joon. “We will continue to strengthen partnerships with various firms for users to enjoy differentiated financial services on our platform.”
After the deal formally closes, Kakao Pay is planning to roll out different services for users to invest in financial products and manage their assets.
Baro Investment & Securities, established in 2008, posted 57.3 billion won in sales and 7.3 billion won operating profit last year.
Kakao Pay was spun off as a subsidiary from the parent company in last April and boasts 2.3 million users with monthly transactions of 2 trillion won.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)