SEOUL, April 5 (Reuters) – NHN Corp (035420.KS), South Korea’s top Internet portal and Web search service, said on Monday it was considering buying Japanese Internet portal Livedoor Co to strengthen its operations in Japan.
“We are considering various business opportunities in Japan including M&As but nothing has been decided,” NHN told the Korea stock exchange in response to media reports that it was about to buy Livedoor for about 7 billion yen. [nTOE63200H]
LDH Corp, which put up Livedoor for sale, also said it was considering selling Livedoor but decision has yet to be made.
A Livedoor deal will boost NHN’s foray into the Japanese Internet search market that it re-entered in July 2009 after leaving in 2005. NHN also runs Hangame online game portal in Japan.
NHN dominates the Web search traffic in South Korea, one of the world’s most wired countries, leading by far foreign rivals such as Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) and Google Inc (GOOG.O).
In South Korea, its portal service Naver has 34 million registered users, while users for its gaming portal Hangame reach 30 million.
Livedoor runs a portal site attracting 30 million users a month and earned 1 billion yen operating profit in the last fiscal year ended in September on 9.4 billion yen revenue.
LDH Corp, formerly Livedoor Holdings, was delisted in 2006 in the wake of an accounting scandal.
Shares in NHN rose 2.4 percent to 189,500 won by 0300 GMT, outperforming a 0.4 percent drop in the broader market .
(Reporting by Rhee So-eui in SEOUL and Nathan Layne in TOKYO; Editing by Valerie Lee)
((firstname.lastname@example.org; +82 2 3704 5650; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))
((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)) Keywords: NHN LIVEDOOR/
(C) Reuters 2010. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution ofReuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expresslyprohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuterssphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group ofcompanies around the world.nTOE63400J