SK Telecom, Kakao Join Forces to Create Synergies in ICT Leadership


SK Telecom and KaKao, a mobile lifestyle platform company in Korea, have signed a strategic partnership and will engage in KRW 300 billion stock swap transaction.

SK Telecom will purchase new shares of Kakao (2.18 million shares) with its treasury sharers (1.27 million shares). After the stock swap transaction, SK Telecom will hold a 2.5% stake in Kakao, and Kakao will have a 1.6% stake in SK Telecom.

Through the partnership, the two companies will closely collaborate to create synergies in mobile network operation, commerce, digital contents and future ICT. To accelerate this, they will establish ‘Synergy Committee’ headed by Ryu Young-sang, Vice President and Head of MNO Business of SK Telecom, and Yeo Min-soo, co-CEO of Kakao.

In mobile network operation business, the companies aim to maximize customer experience and benefits by combining SK Telecom’s mobile service and benefits with Kakao’s messenger platform. They also plan to cooperate in specialized services for 5G.

In commerce, SK Telecom and Kakao will collaborate to strengthen their services to provide customers with a new shopping experience based on cutting-edge ICT including AI.

In digital contents, the two companies plan to increase their competitiveness by combining SK Telecom’s media platform and Kakao’s digital contents power.

In future ICT, SK Telecom and Kakao will promote mid-to long-term cooperation in areas including AI, IoT and finance.

Kakao, better known as South Korea’s largest mobile messaging app operator, is an integrated mobile lifestyle platform company with services including mobile messaging (Kakao Talk), gaming (Kakao Games), music (Melon), e-mail (Daum Mail), search (Daum Search), news (Daum News), and more. With the mission of “Connect Everything”, Kakao is dedicated to creating an ecosystem of connectivity where people can stay connected with family and friends by sharing what matters to them.

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019.