South Korea’s Camus Engineering & Construction Inc. (Camus E&C) has acquired Keumyang International Inc., the country’s top importer and distributor of wine, in a move to make a foray into the wine industry dominated by local retail conglomerates.
According to multiple sources from the wine industry on Wednesday, Keumyang International has been incorporated into a unit under Camus E&C in June. The construction firm has secured a 79.34 percent stake in Keumyang International, of which 43.8 percent is owned by Base HD Co., Camus E&C’s largest shareholder with a 54.98 percent ownership, and 35.54 by Taeheung Industry Co., a core unit under the construction firm.
Camus E&C - a unit that spun off from Samwhan Group - is engaged in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail businesses. The latest acquisition of Keumyang International has led the company to make a foray into wine business. Industry sources note that the company is seeking to create synergy with its existing food- and service-related units as well as with Paradise Duty Free store.
Last year, Keumyang International raised 1.6 billion won in operating income, up 400 million won from the previous year. Sales reached 69 billion won, down 5.5 percent over the same period.
The mid-size wine importers and distributors in the Korean wine industry are facing stagnant growth amid the growing dominance by retail conglomerates like Shinsegae and Lotte that own department stores and large discount stores where they sell wines they directly import from abroad. In May, Kiljin International Inc., the industry’s sixth-largest player, filed for court receivership.
By Baek Sang-kyung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]