SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — LIG Nex1, a defense unit of South Korean conglomerate LIG Group, said Friday it will go public on the Seoul bourse in October in what will be the first market debut by a local defense company.
The initial public offering (IPO) of 6.9 million shares is expected to raise between 455.4 billion won (US$391.6 million) and 524.4 billion won, with an offering price of between 66,000 won and 76,000 won per share, the company said.
Public subscriptions for LIG Nex1, set to go public on the main KOSPI market in early October, will be held for two days starting on Sept. 22, according to the company.
The company, one of South Korea’s major suppliers of weapons systems for the country’s armed forces, has posted a 20-percent sales growth in the last three years. In 2014, the company registered 51.7 billion won in net profit and 1.4 trillion won in sales, according to corporate data.
“With the IPO, the company is looking to expand its overseas markets to countries in the Middle East and Latin America,” said Lee Hyo-koo, CEO of LIG Nex1. “By 2020, we hope to emerge as the 30th top defense company in the world.”
Despite the promising earnings figures, industry watchers say an ongoing investigation into allegations that LIG Nex1 may have taken part in a questionable arms deal may pose a risk to potential investors.
The defense firm is suspected of providing 8 billion won worth of defective equipment used to assess the performance of anti-tank guided missiles to a local defense research agency between 2012 and 2014.