South Korea’s top mobile messenger operator Kakao has acquired a 28.9 percent stake in travel agency Tidesquare for 34.7 billion won ($30.70 million), it said on March 19.
Established in 2009, Tidesquare provides online hotel and flight booking services. The company grew through a partnership with Hyundai Card in 2010. Its sales last year reached 37.9 billion won while its operating profit stood at 4.8 billion won.
By acquiring the stake, Kakao has become the travel agency’s second-biggest shareholder.
Having entered the travel business through the recent acquisition it is expected to expand its presence in the field. The firm explained that it has not decided specific plans of cooperation with Tidesquare yet, but the company’s decision to acquire stake was made to offer diverse travel related services on it current mobile messenger platform KakaoTalk.
Kakao has been actively looking into merger and acquisition opportunities to spot businesses that can enhance the value to its existing business. It recently also participated in a preliminary bid for Korea’s largest game developer Nexon to enhance its game business, which is led by Kakao Games.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)