October 15, 2021 11:16
Yanolja will take over Korea's first online shopping mall Interpark.
The travel booking platform said Thursday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Interpark to buy a 70 percent stake for W294 billion (US$1=W1,186).
Yanolja will take over Interpark's entire e-commerce division, including travel, event tickets, shopping and books.
Yanolja's flagship business is domestic travel, where it has the biggest market share. According to an industry insider, it hopes to expand its overseas travel business and link ticket bookings with domestic travel and leisure services by taking over Interpark, which has the know-how and experience it lacks.
Yanolja was given a W2 trillion shot in the arm by Japan's maverick SoftBank Vision Fund in July.
Founded by CEO Lee Ki-hyung in 1995 as a venture spun off from Dacom, Interpark became the first e-commerce platform to be listed on the Kosdaq in 1999. It reached the largest market share in 2003 with innovative free delivery services and low price competitiveness.
But by 2009 it sold off Gmarket and concentrated on its ticket and travel booking business as competition in online shopping became fiercer with the arrival of Auction and 11st.
With its 70 percent market share in ticket bookings, Interpark was dealt a mighty blow by the coronavirus pandemic. Now only iMarketKorea, an industrial supplies shopping mall, and the healthcare and bio services businesses will remain in its fold.
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