Millet Edelweiss Holdings Co. (MEH), South Korean sales entity of French outdoor equipment and apparel brand Millet, is put up for sale amid sluggish sales in the Korean outdoor apparel market.
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According to investment banking sources, MEH is seeking to find a new owner after it recently picked a lead sales manager. Industry peers and private equity funds are considered possible bidders, sources added.
MEH, formerly known as Hahn & Koh’s Trading Co., was founded in 1966 and expanded to a total outdoor clothing brand in 1988. It obtained an exclusive license to market the Millet brand in Korea in 1999 and signed a trademark contract for sale in Korea in 2009.
Its business started going up thanks to the burgeoning outdoor clothing and equipment market in Korea. The company in 2010 demerged the Millet business unit into a separate entity Millet Inc., which the entire stake is held by chief executive Han Cheol-ho (59.5 percent) and specially related persons.
Its revenue that hovered around some 65 billion won before obtaining the Millet trademark peaked at 400 billion won (US$342 million) in 2014, but then started falling as the Korean outdoor apparel market growth has stalled.
The Korean outdoor clothing market contracted to 2.55 trillion won in 2018 from 2.60 trillion won in 2016.
MEH’s consolidated operating profit last year plunged 33 percent to 3.4 billion won on sales of 146.7 billion won, down 13.9 percent from the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) also declined to 5.4 billion won from some 10 billion won.
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The sluggish demand for outdoor clothing has also stoked rumors that MBK Partners is seeking to sell NEPA, the country’s another major outdoor apparel brand that the Korea-based private equity fund acquired at 1 trillion won in 2013.
(Source: Pulse News)