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Naver Corp Sets Sights on South Korean SaaS Company BusinessOn Communication

In a Competitive Bid Against Global PE Giants, Naver Eyes BusinessOn for AI Business Synergy
South Korea
n 035420.KO Blue Chip 150 Tech 350
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Naver Corp, South Korea’s internet powerhouse, is making a strategic move to acquire a significant stake in BusinessOn Communication Co., a leading software as a service (SaaS) provider. This acquisition is part of Naver’s broader plan to integrate and enhance its burgeoning generative artificial intelligence business.

The online giant has expressed interest in purchasing a 46.91% stake in BusinessOn, a decision that places it in direct competition with global private equity heavyweights like EQT Partners AB, Goldman Sachs Private Equity Group, and TA Associates. The controlling stake, currently held by Praxis Capital Partners, has garnered intense interest, prompting BDA Partners, the financial advisor managing the sale, to widen the pool of potential buyers.

This development comes as BusinessOn’s financial performance shows significant growth, with sales nearly tripling since 2019. Founded as an electronic tax invoice service provider, BusinessOn has diversified under Praxis’s management, acquiring related businesses like e-contract system developer Glosign and data analysis firm Planit Partners.

For Naver, acquiring BusinessOn is not just a business expansion but a strategic step towards creating synergy with its AI initiatives. Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon emphasized the company’s focus on cloud infrastructure, platform, and SaaS markets driven by generative AI technologies in a recent earnings call. This acquisition aligns with Naver’s vision to fortify its position in these sectors.

The bid for BusinessOn also highlights Naver’s commitment to evolving its software services. The company’s recent launch of Naver Form, a survey platform, is a testament to its ongoing efforts to innovate and expand its software offerings. As the final bidding process approaches in the first half of 2024, the tech industry is closely watching Naver’s potential acquisition, which could significantly impact the landscape of AI-driven SaaS solutions.

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