Internet media giant Yahoo has agreed to pay $60 million to take a 10% stake in Gmarket, a South Korean online retailer that is currently seeking a listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Yahoo acquired the stake from Oak Investment Partners, a venture capital firm that had been the only significant outside institutional investor in Gmarket. The deal is reported to leave Yahoo as the third largest Gmarket shareholder.
The Korean e-commerce and internet search sectors continue to be dominated by domestic companies. With a high level of internet access and increasing income levels, the Asian market has, however, attracted strong interest recently from significant industry players. In 2004, eBay bought Internet Auction for $4.3 billion, while Yahoo paid around $1 billion for a major stake in Chinese online auction Alibaba.
The connection with Gmarket has served to illustrate Yahoo’s growing ambitions in east Asia, and South Korea specifically, where the company already holds a presence through its Yahoo Korea portal and web search firm Overture Korea.
We look forward to working with Gmarket to leverage their e-commerce expertise to further expand Yahoo’s leading position in commerce in Asia, commented Dan Rosensweig, COO of Yahoo.