South Korea’s eyewear company Snoopy Optical Co., owner of sunglass brand Gentle Monster, may wave off luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) Group as other investors suggest higher offers for a stake in the firm prior to its initial public offering.
Pre-IPO talks between Snoopby Optical and L Catterton Asia, the LVMH-sponsored private equity fund, have come to a stalemate after five months of negotiations, according to financial circles on Thursday. L Catterton is said to have offered 130 billion won ($115.6 million) for a stake in Snoopby before it goes public. But industry sources said that Snoopby has been delaying its decision after receiving more favorable offers, with some proposing numbers that put the company’s market value at 1 trillion won.
Founded in 2011 on capital of 50 million won, Snoopby has grown into one of Korea’s hottest fashion eyewear companies. Its main brand Gentle Monster became a huge hit after appearing in a popular TV series My Love from the Star in 2014. The brand offers its eyewear at an affordable price tag of 200,000-300,000 won in a wide selection of designs. At the peak of its popularity in 2015, daily sales were as high as 150 million won at a local department store.
Once securing the initial investment, Snoopby plans to ready itself for public listing on Korean bourse.
By Song Gwang-sup
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