December 3, 2022

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South Korean Internet Giant Buys Poshmark in $1.2 Billion Deal

2 min read

The South Korean internet giant Naver has agreed to buy Poshmark, a popular secondhand retailer based in the United States, for $1.2 billion. It is Naver’s largest acquisition to date and a sign of the company’s broadening global ambitions.

Sometimes referred to as the “Google of South Korea,” Naver is a wide-ranging internet services provider that began as a search engine before expanding into email, messaging, news aggregation and e-commerce. Its website and suite of mobile apps are some of South Korea’s most popular.

Naver’s acquisition of Poshmark gives the South Korean tech giant a sizable foothold in the North American resale industry. The company had already expanded into Japan and other markets in the region, most notably as the parent company, along with SoftBank, of the popular messaging app Line.

Naver has set its sights beyond Asia. In 2021, it acquired its first North American business, Wattpad, a Toronto company that offers a platform for reading and writing original stories, for $600 million. In 2017, it acquired Xerox Research Center Europe, a France-based center focused on breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.

Choi Soo-Yeon, the chief executive of Naver, said the acquisition marks the company’s acceleration into the global “C2C” market, the category of business where customers sell goods and services to each other via a third-party platform like eBay or Craigslist. She placed particular emphasis on fashion, which has seen a global surge in recent months and makes up 15 percent of South Korea’s e-commerce market.

Naver will pay $17.90 per share, 15 percent more than on Poshmark’s closing price of $15.57 on Monday. Poshmark will continue to be led by its chief executive, Manish Chandra.

Naver’s shares fell by nearly 9 percent at the close on trading in Seoul on Tuesday. The company’s stock is down roughly 60 percent from its peak in mid-2021.

Big tech companies are zeroing in on the intersection of social media and…

Chang Che

2022-10-04 03:48:36

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