Naver is expected to acquire Wattpad in a cash and stock transaction valued at more than an estimated USD $600 million, subject to customary adjustments and other terms.
The acquisition has been approved by the Board of Directors of Wattpad, a social storytelling platform, and announced its unanimous approval of a definitive agreement to be acquired by Naver, South Korea’s internet conglomerate and home of WEBTOON.
The acquisition will allow Wattpad to continue to accelerate its international growth and success. The company will remain headquartered in Canada under the continued leadership of founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. The move will align Wattpad, and its global community with Naver’s WEBTOON, a digital comics publisher.
“Co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, and the entire team at Wattpad, have created something special, and we are grateful to have Allen and Ivan continue to lead this fantastic company for us post-acquisition,” said Seong-Sook Han, CEO of Naver.
“Wattpad’s vision to entertain and connect the world through stories fits perfectly with our vision for WEBTOON and Naver’s content brand. We’re thrilled to have them join the Naver family,” she added.
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“Wattpad joining WEBTOON under the Naver umbrella is a big step towards us becoming a leading global multimedia entertainment company. Both Wattpad and WEBTOON care most about helping creators tell their story their way, and both represent world-leading collections of inspired, imaginative storytelling IP” said WEBTOON founder and CEO, Jun Koo Kim.
“When we started Wattpad in 2006, we understood that technology would democratize storytelling and that stories are the atomic unit of every type of entertainment. In 2021, when every form of entertainment is being transformed, we’ve built a platform that can fuel hits on-screen and bookshelves, empowering and rewarding a new generation of diverse creators all over the world” said Allen Lau, CEO & co-founder, Wattpad.
He adds, “Today’s news is about continuing Wattpad’s journey and taking our business to the next level. We’re thrilled about the prospect of joining the amazing teams at Naver and WEBTOON to continue our growth, help more writers make money, and bring new voices to screens and bookstores everywhere.”