South Korean conglomerate Naver is set to acquire Wattpad, a Toronto-based storytelling platform in an estimated $600 million cash and stock transaction, the companies have announced. The deal has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Wattpad and Naver.
Naver is planning to pair Wattpad with its online webtoon publishing portal.
“With the backing of Korean technology giant, Naver, Webtoon and Wattpad will collaborate to create a stronger and connected ecosystem across visual and textual storytelling content, with a combined reader base of over 160 million monthly users globally,” Naver said in a press release (via The Verge).
“Wattpad joining Webtoon under the Naver umbrella will be a big step towards us becoming a leading global multimedia entertainment company,” said Naver Webtoon’s founder and CEO, Jun Koo Kim as quoted in the release.
Wattpad said that it will align the platform with Webtoon under the same umbrella.
“The Wattpad you know will largely feel the same over the coming months. In time, we will find more ways to connect our combined audience of 160 million people around the world — people who obsess over their favorite stories and creators and who have found a home with Wattpad and Webtoon,” it added.
The transaction, subject to customary regulatory approvals is expected to close within the first half of this year, Naver said.