SK Telecom and Kakao have joined hands to enhance their global competitiveness and lead the future ICT industry.
SK Telecom said on Oct. 28 that it will exchange stakes worth US$250 million (300 billion won) with Kakao and sign a strategic partnership.
SK Telecom will sell its own shares worth US$250 million (300 billion won) to Kakao, while Kakao will exchange shares by issuing new shares and allocating them to SK Telecom. Through this, SK Telecom will hold a 2.5 percent stake in Kakao, while Kakao will hold a 1.6 percent stake in SK Telecom.
By signing a partnership, the two companies decided to push for close cooperation in four major areas: telecommunication, commerce, digital content, and future ICT.
Competition has intensified recently as the boundary between the ICT industry's state and business has collapsed. In response, SK Telecom and Kakao agreed on the need for "openness and cooperation" to strengthen their global competitiveness.
SK Telecom and Kakao are expected to be a signal to change the landscape of South Korea's ICT as they have the country's best competitive edge in the areas of telecommunications, services and content.
In particular, both companies are expecting that they will be able to lead ecosystems in various fields such as AI, commerce, and contents based on 5G recently.
"The partnership with Kakao will be an important starting point to strengthen the competitiveness of South Korea's ICT ecosystem by joining forces with the flagship companies in the 5G and mobile platforms, which will be the core of future ICTs," said Yoo Young-sang, head of SK Telecom's ICT business division.
"Through the partnership, the two leading ICT companies in South Korea will be able to secure competitiveness that can be compared to global companies and provide new experiences and values to users," said Yeo Min-soo, co-chairman of Kakao.