SK AI chip startup Sapeon agrees to merge with Rebellions

(Bloomberg) — Sapeon Korea Inc., the artificial intelligence chip startup unit of SK Telecom Co., and rival Rebellions Inc. have agreed to combine their businesses, joining forces in a bid to compete in on a global scale and capitalize on the growing demand for AI services.

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The move underscores the two companies’ ambition to create a leader in AI chips in South Korea, they said in a statement on Wednesday. They will begin due diligence with the goal of finalizing discussions on a merger ratio and other details of the business combination in the third quarter, representatives from both companies told Bloomberg News.

Rebellions, backed by KT Corp., was recently valued at 880 billion won ($640 million), while Sapeon was valued at 500 billion won. Sapeon is 84.5% owned by SK Telecom, SK Hynix Inc. and SK Square Co.

Rebellions was in discussions to select local financial advisors as part of a plan to prepare for an IPO as early as the second half of 2025, according to Chief Financial Officer Shin Sungkyue. Today’s announcement won’t change its IPO plans, although the timeline could change, he said.

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