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SK's Sapeon and AI Startup Rebellions to Merge, Eye Global Market

Source: Rebellions

​​SEOUL, South Korea — Artificial intelligence (AI) chip startup Rebellions and SK Telecom's (017670.KS) subsidiary Sapeon Korea have announced plans to merge to establish a leading domestic AI semiconductor company and compete in the global market.

The merger, which is anticipated to be finalized by the end of the year, will result in Rebellions CEO Park Sung-hyun assuming the role of the combined entity's leader. 

This decision reflects the fast-paced nature of the system semiconductor industry, with Rebellions assuming operational responsibility. 

The IPO timeline for the merged company will also be aligned with Rebellions' plans.

SK Telecom, a strategic investor in the merged entity, will provide support for the global AI chip market entry and efforts to enhance South Korea's competitiveness in the sector. 

Another strategic investor in Rebellions, KT (030200.KS), has also joined the merger in order to secure technological sovereignty and to foster the creation of a world-class AI chip company.

It is anticipated that the merged company will receive substantial support from the SK Group, particularly through the exploitation of synergies with SK Hynix's high-bandwidth memory (HBM) business and the recently acquired NAND flash business from Intel, Solidigm.

Rebellions, established in 2020, has released two products and achieved a valuation of 880 billion won ($640 million) within three years. 

The company's second product, the AI chip "ATOM," became the first domestically developed neural processing unit (NPU) to be commercialized in data centers last year.