Will Paik Jong-won achieve IPO dream for Theborn Korea to mark its 30th anniversary?

Theborn Korea founder Paik Jong-won / Courtesy of Theborn Korea

Theborn Korea, a food and beverage franchise business founded by celebrity chef Paik Jong-won, officially launched its listing process earlier this week, aiming to go public on the Kosdaq market during the second half of this year.

The move comes as the franchise food company marks the 30th anniversary of its founding. This is the company’s second attempt to go public, after its previous attempt failed in 2018.

According to the Korea Exchange (KRX) on Thursday, Theborn Korea submitted a preliminary evaluation request for the stock listing to the state-run bourse operator on Wednesday. Korea Investment & Securities and NH Investment & Securities will be the lead underwriters of the IPO.

Investment banking industry watchers expect the company’s corporate valuation to stand at around 350 billion won ($253 million) to 400 billion won. The company posted record high annual sales of 410.6 billion won last year, which is up 45 percent compared to 2022.

The company’s earnings have been on a steady rise over the past few years. In 2020, Theborn Korea achieved annual sales of 150.7 billion won, followed by 194.1 billion won in 2021 and 281 billion won in 2022.

Although net profit edged down 0.6 percent last year compared to 2022, Paik’s company is evaluated to have secured the potential for profitability improvements by increasing the prices of its major brands earlier this year.

Given that the stock exchange’s review period is 45 business days, the results of the preliminary assessment are expected to be released by the end of July. The process could be delayed if additional materials are requested during the review.

If the review by the exchange proceeds smoothly, Theborn Korea can start the subscription process for its shares in the third quarter and complete the listing process within this year.

Paik, a beloved celebrity chef in Korea renowned for his appearances on various broadcast shows, has consistently voiced his aspirations for the company’s IPO in 2024. This aligns with his vision, coinciding with the firm’s 30th anniversary.

Founded by Paik in 1994, Theborn Korea now operates 25 iconic food brands that are highly popular in Korea, including Bornga, Paik’s Noodle, Paik’s Bibim, Saemaeul Restaurant, Paik’s Coffee, Hanshin 카지노사이트킹 Pocha and Ball Katsu. Many of his brands have now advanced into overseas markets, including major cities in the U.S., China, Japan and Southeast Asia. The company also runs Hotel Theborn Jeju on Jeju Island.

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