A Nasdaq-listed blank-check company formed by Korean billionaire Chey Tae-won’s SK conglomerate is acquiring Webull Corp., a Chinese-owned online broker rival to Robinhood Markets, the companies said on Wednesday.

Hunan-based Webull has agreed to combine with SK’s special purpose acquisition company, SK Growth Opportunities Corp., in a deal that values the stock trading platform at approximately $7.3 billion. Webull is expected to receive about $100 million from the SPAC; the transaction is expected to be closed in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

“The business combination with SK Growth marks a significant milestone for Webull,” said Anquan Wang, founder and CEO of Webull, in a statement. “We believe SK Growth’s partnership and experience fully aligns with our long-term vision to make Webull the platform of choice for the new generation of investors globally.”

Webull was founded in 2016 by Wang, who previously worked at Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Xiaomi. Its parent company, Fumi Technology, was valued at more than $1 billion when it raised $150 million from undisclosed investors in a funding round in 2021, according to a Bloomberg News report. Fumi’s other backers include Xiaomi cofounder Lei Jun’s Shunwei Capital and Chinese wealth management firm Noah Holdings.

Webull, which offers commission-free online stock trading services, expanded into the U.S. in 2018. The company surged in popularity in the country during the meme-stock mania of 2021, when retail investors flocked to trading apps to buy shares of companies like GameStop and AMC Entertainment. Webull said it has 20 million registered users across 15 regions globally, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and Singapore.

The online broker had reportedly considered raising about $300 million to $400 million in an initial public offering in the U.S., Bloomberg News reported in 2021.

Webull’s merger with SK Growth Opportunities marks a rare SPAC deal, which became a hype in Wall Street during the pandemic but ended last year with a series of bankruptcies and big losses for investors.

SK Growth Opportunities Corp. raised $200 million in its U.S. listing in June 2022 with an initial focus on environment, social, and governance (ESG). The blank-check company was formed by SK Inc., which is the holding company of Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, SK Group.

SK Group, whose main businesses are telecoms, memory chips and electric vehicle batteries, has invested in fintech companies before, such as U.S.-based blockchain software provider Consensys (backed by Microsoft, Temasek and SoftBank) and Finnq, a mobile financial service provider in South Korea. In 2022, SK sold its stake in Finnq to Hana Financial Group.

Read the full article here

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates directly to your inbox

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Multiple Choice
Share.
2024 © Budget Busters Hub. All Rights Reserved.