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One Store withdraws IPO plan, SK Square forced to change course

A promotional image of the One Store application store (One Store)

South Korean mobile app store operator One Store has scrapped plans for an IPO amid poor market conditions, the company said on Wednesday.

One Store’s move comes a day after the close of an institutional investor book building, in which the offering price for a common stock was below its suggested price range of 34,300 won (26.9 $) and 41,700 won each.

The figures estimated One Store’s equity value at between 910 billion won and 1.1 trillion won.

The decision came in contrast to a pledge by company officials to proceed with the IPO at all costs, as expressed at a press conference on Monday. Officials including CEO Lee Jae-hwan have touted One Store as a challenger in the global app store market dominated by Google and Apple.

One Store said in a statement that the decision was attributable to “increasing macroeconomic uncertainties that have undermined investor sentiment in the stock market”, despite “positive feedback on business fundamentals” from institutional investors. .

One Store’s announcement marks the seventh of its kind, following companies such as sister company SK Shieldus and corrugated cardboard maker Tailim Paper.

One Store’s shareholders include Korean internet giant Naver, US tech giant Microsoft and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, in addition to SK Square.

As a result, its parent company SK Square is forced to change course in relation to its business valuation plan by a soft landing of its subsidiaries on the stock market.

SK Shieldus, a security services subsidiary of the investment firm, also withdrew its IPO bid on Friday. The ruling, combined with the One Store case, casts a shadow over SK Square’s plan to list more subsidiaries, including the 11st e-commerce arm.

SK Square’s stock price hit a new all-time low. Its shares fell 3.25% on Wednesday. SK Square’s market capitalization has been cut by nearly half to 6.3 trillion won since its peak in late November, when the company was spun off from Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom.

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