SEOUL, April 10 (Korea Bizwire) — Nanda Co., one of South Korea’s leading online retailers, has put itself up for sale amid the global popularity of K-pop and K-beauty items, investment bank sources said Tuesday.
Nanda, which operates fashion mall Stylenanda and cosmetics brand 3CE, has selected Swiss banking giant UBS as lead manager for its stake sale, according to the sources.
Nanda plans to sell 70 percent of the stake owned by the head of Nanda at a value of about 400 billion won (US$375 million).
French cosmetics giant L’Oreal is known to be one of the potential buyers.
UBS declined to comment on the issue, as the deal is still under way. L’Oreal officials could not immediately be reached for comments.
“The value of the company seems to have risen, as a number of global cosmetics makers have recently shown interest in local small and medium-sized players,” a market watcher said, referring to Unilever’s $2.7 billion-takeover of South Korean cosmetics maker Carver Korea last year.
Founded in 2007, Nanda was one of the first online malls to emerge on South Korea’s retail scene. Its sales reached 128.7 billion won in 2016, with an operating profit of 27.8 billion won.