Wattpad to be sold to South Korean internet giant Naver for US$600 million

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TORONTO — Online storytelling company Wattpad Corp. says it will be acquired by South Korean internet conglomerate Naver for US$600 million.

The Toronto-based company says the acquisition is a cash and stock transaction that was unanimously approved by its board of directors earlier today.

Under the terms of the deal, Wattpad will keep its Canadian headquarters and remain under the leadership of co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen.

Wattpad has been running a self-publishing platform since it was founded in 2006, but in recent years managed to reach deals to get some users' books printed or made into movies.

Wattpad says the acquisition will accelerate the company's international growth and expand its audience because Naver owns digital comics platform Webtoon.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of the company's fiscal year and is subject to regulatory approvals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press