Yongpyong resort plans to go public

The Korea Times/June 2, 2014

By Chung Ah-young

Yongpyong Resort, a ski and leisure venue owned by the Unification Church, hopes to raise up to 1 trillion won in an initial public offering (IPO).

The resort's plan to go public was confirmed by KDB Daewoo Securities, which will manage the IPO in tandem with Daishin Securities.

The Unification Church acquired the resort in 2003 in a 190 billion won deal and owns nearly 50 percent of the resort. The next biggest shareholders are Sunwon Construction and the Segye Ilbo newspaper, which also have ties to the church.

The Unification Church has been a large presence in the Korean business sector. But after its companies in the construction and chemical industries took severe blows in the economic crises of the late 1990s and after the Lehman Brothers collapse, the church has been trying to shift the focus of its business to leisure.

As of last year, Yongpyong Resort held 734.6 billion won worth of assets in land and buildings. If the report goes public, market insiders believe the company will be worth 600 to 700 billion won in market value.

Rosier estimations suggest a market cap of nearly 1 trillion won, considering the expected boost in the popularity of winter sports as the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics approaches.

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