|Bid||977,000.00 x 0|
|Ask||978,000.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||975,000.00 - 990,000.00|
|52 Week Range||230,000.00 - 1,050,000.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.15|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Dec. 27, 2019|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Kim Chang-han, a former child computer prodigy who won national coding competitions in South Korea in the 1980s, had reached his lowest point.It was 2014, and he’d just laid off a third of the employees at his gaming startup. Since 2000, he’d created three multiplayer online games at three startups that all fell flat.“That was the darkest time in my life,” Kim, 46, recalled. The following year, he sold his firm to the company now known as Krafton Inc., which he joined as an executive producer.Then his fortunes began to change. As a last attempt to succeed in the business, he decided to make what’s known as a battle royale game, an online game where players compete against one another in an ever-shrinking battlefield to be the last person standing. “Every fiber in my being was telling me to make this game,” he said.Kim persuaded the Irishman Brendan Greene to join the company and move to South Korea as the game’s creative director.One Man’s Journey From Welfare to World’s Hottest Video GameBluehole Inc., as Krafton was called at the time, released PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, in 2017. It became one of the most successful games of all time, with the PC and console versions selling more than 70 million copies and the mobile version being downloaded about 600 million times, according to Krafton.Now the company is planning an initial public offering in mid-to-late 2021 that could be South Korea’s biggest in years. The share sale could raise billions of dollars, Kim, who became Krafton’s chief executive officer last year, said in an interview in Seoul, declining to give further details.The IPO could value the startup at as much as 30 trillion won ($27.2 billion), according to a Jan. 5 report by Eugene Investment & Securities Co.South Korea is set to raise as much as $10.9 billion, a record, through more than 120 IPOs this year, according to the brokerage. KakaoBank Corp., the largest internet-only lender, and LG Chem Ltd.’s battery unit are expected to conduct initial share sales in 2021, according to the report. The surge in IPOs comes after South Korea’s benchmark stock index gained 34% in the past 12 months, one of the best performances in the world.The country’s biggest-ever IPO was the $4.3 billion offering of Samsung Life Insurance Co. in 2010. That was followed by the $2.4 billion listing of Netmarble Corp., a Seoul-based gaming company, in 2017.Krafton, whose name represents a commitment to craftsmanship, manages four game studios but PUBG accounts for the vast majority of its sales and profits, according to Kim. It had revenue of more than $1.1 billion in the nine months ended September, according to a company filing.Some people have concerns about whether the company is a “one-hit wonder,” said Han Kim, general partner and co-founder of Altos Ventures Management Inc., which holds shares in Krafton. “I think the more important thing is how the company can utilize the intellectual property of PUBG and how it can make that into an even bigger franchise.”Krafton’s Kim said the company is creating an animated show that will be uploaded on streaming services and a web cartoon. It will eventually make movies and dramas, he said. The company is open to acquisitions in these areas, Kim said.Krafton founder Chang Byung-gyu is the largest shareholder with a 17% stake as of Sept. 30, followed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., which owns 16% through a subsidiary, according to a Krafton filing. Kim has 1.5%.Kim won a personal computer contest organized by South Korea’s science ministry in 1985 when he was 10 and went on to claim several other national coding prizes. He co-founded Ginno Games in 2009 after being involved at two other startups, and was “very frustrated” when its game failed.But that’s all behind Kim now as Krafton prepares to go public. He said he’s determined to expand the company’s games repertoire beyond its initial success. The company plans to release a new battle royale mobile title this year that will be based on PUBG, another PUBG-related PC and console game by next year and a survival horror game in 2022 that will depict the PUBG universe three centuries into the future.“We will not stay as a one-hit wonder,” Kim said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
General Motors Co, as part of a $27 billion initiative to match or surpass Tesla Inc in the electric vehicle sector, is working with "all the best startups" on next-generation EV battery technology while planning a big boost in production capacity for its new Ultium battery system, an executive said on Monday. "We're partnering with some great companies," including Honda Motor and LG Chem, on electric vehicles and batteries, said Doug Parks, GM's executive vice president of global product development.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Activist Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. must be kicking itself: Hyundai Motor Co. might end up making cars or at least parts for a future-forward vehicle with none other than Apple Inc. That sent the stock up as much as 24% on Friday, the biggest intraday gain in over two decades.For investors, regardless of any agreement’s details, just the hype of talks of a partnership between the quintessential technology firm and the traditional automaker seems to have validated the South Korean conglomerate’s business. That assessment couldn’t be further from reality.Much like other auto companies, Hyundai has struggled to push ahead with a transformation to electric and autonomous vehicles. In 2018, it unveiled a $7 billion plan to push ahead with development for fuel-cell models – even further on the horizon than nascent battery power — without addressing dismal earnings at the time. The company continued to set ambitious sales targets as the auto market was set to shrink or at least plateau. I wrote that it seemed unrealistic.Hyundai has also had its share of production quality issues, with recalls, civil penalties in the U.S., and cars with engine problems. In the quarter ended September last year, the company posted an operating loss of 313.8 billion Korean won ($277.8 million) and apologized to shareholders and investors “for having repeated quality cost issues over three quarters since 2018.” It has had some luck with sport utility vehicles.Elliott took on the conglomerate in April 2018 with a stake worth approximately $1 billion across group companies, including Hyundai Motor and sister Kia Motors Corp. The fund’s requests included returning more than 12 trillion won in cash to shareholders and establishing an efficient holding company structure. There was much contention around the numbers Hyundai was using to value the businesses and future cash flows.Elliott pointed out that Hyundai Motor had a poor investment record and a history of putting money into non-core projects. The company barely budged. With victory seeming too far away, Elliott sold out with a $430 million loss, according to local media reports in January last year. On the eve of a shareholder proposal that was slapped down, the activist said that several investors that had “suffered years of underperformance” also wanted change.By the time Elliott walked away, the stock had dropped almost 20%.(1) It’s up over 80% since then.Tough luck. Who would have known that Hyundai, of all the automakers to partner with, would make the cut for Apple’s list of suitors. Sure, discussions are in early stages, but going by reports in South Korean media, the deal would cover production, electric vehicles and battery technology. There are far more competent players out there: Think of the German firms for production, and South Korean battery makers like LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co. And as reports about the Apple Car resurfaced a couple of weeks ago, much speculation has swirled around contract manufacturers.To be fair, this week Hyundai Motor’s chairman, Chung Eiu-Sun, emphasized that 2021 will be a crucial inflection point “in which we kick-start our great transformation into a new growth engine.” He talked about electrification, hydrogen technology, unmanned aircraft for cargo — you name it.Still, going by the patents that Apple has had approved for a potential vehicle, it’s difficult to understand how – and where – Hyundai could contribute, at least more than any other carmaker. It’s even harder to see why Apple is in discussions.(1) Assumes Elliott departure as of January 23, 2020, based on media reports.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.