Bodyfriend resumes plans to go public
[THE INVESTOR] Korean premium massage chair brand Bodyfriend has resumed its process of going public, which was suspended last month when the Financial Services Commission started reviewing the company’s 2015-2016 accounting report, according to sources on Sept. 12 .
“We are not in a hurry, but we have resumed discussions on the best timing to get listed with our IPO managers Morgan Stanley and Mirae Asset Daewoo,” a Bodyfriend official told The Investor. The firm’s market cap is expected to range from 2 trillion won (US$1.80 billion) to 3 trillion won.
In July, Bodyfriend’s largest shareholder VIG Partners said it is gearing up for a stock debut in November. At the time, VIG Partners Managing Partner Lee Chul-min also confirmed its exit plans before the year-end after Bodyfriend’s imminent market debut.
The massage chair maker suspended its listing process on Aug. 5 after FSC decided to inspect the company’s books. As per laws, the government can conduct an audit of an unlisted company for maximum 80 days. During this period, Korean companies often withhold their IPO process.
Bodyfriend is unlikely to be subjected to severe penalties since the FSC has only spotted minor problems in the its accounts.
The firm had sought to go public back in 2014 but the plans were suspended after its ownership change. VIG, in a consortium with Doosan’s venture capital unit Neoplux, acquired a 91 percent stake in Bodyfriend for 400 billion won in 2015.
The firm, which was established in 2007, is the nation’s No. 1 massage chair brand with more than 70 percent market share. Its operating profit almost doubled to 120 billion won last year from 2014.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)