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SmartStudy denies rumors of Nasdaq listing

Related firms’ stocks continue to remain strong amid anticipation

The English version of the “Baby Shark Dance” video (YouTube screen capture)
The English version of the “Baby Shark Dance” video (YouTube screen capture)
SmartStudy, best known for its super viral “Baby Shark” song, said Friday that it is not yet considering listing itself on the US tech-heavy Nasdaq market, refuting rumors by some local media reports.

“We have not yet decided whether to go public. Discussion on which market to be listed was not even in progress,” the educational entertainment company said. “We’ll look into the initial public offering scenario from various angles based on our firm’s continuous growth.”

Local media news outlets reported that SmartStudy will push ahead for a direct listing on Nasdaq to accelerate its overseas business, citing investment banking sources. They also said that the company planned to expand capital via pre-IPO investments from its shareholders such as the state-run Korea Development Bank, while its market value had set at around 900 billion won ($800.17 million).

SmartStudy officials added that KDB is not its shareholder, as the firm previously reached out to the bank for pre-IPO investment, but nothing was decided after the request.

Founded in 2010, the educational entertainment company’s representative characters are The Shark Family and Pinkfong. With these characters, the company has distributed over 5,000 childrens’ videos on various channels, including YouTube.

The “Baby Shark Dance” video, which has gained worldwide popularity, has become the most viewed video on YouTube, surpassing 7 billion views as of Tuesday. The viral song for children also debuted at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 last year.

Before denying the rumors, SmartStudy-related firms’ shares skyrocketed during the early trading hours. Then, the stock prices erased some earlier gains in the afternoon, but still continued to climb.

Shares of its second largest shareholder firm Samsung Publishing, with 22.98 percent ownership, once spiked by a daily permissible limit of nearly 30 percent, up 6,700 won, or 29.84 percent, to 29,150 won but closed at 24,600 won.

Toebox Korea’s stock also recorded a fresh 52-week high of 1,515 won per share earlier, but ended trading at 1,260 won, up 80 won, or 6.78 percent from the previous session’s close. The company has manufactured and distributed Pinkfong-related merchandise including toys.

By Jie Ye-eun (