South Korea’s paper and pulp industry will undergo another restructuring wave this year amid mixed challenges from the environmental campaign to reduce paper usage and growing demand for delivery boxes due to e-commerce boom.
According to the industry sources on Tuesday, Hankuk Paper MFG Co. and Asia Paper Manufacturing Co. submitted their bids for the nation’s No.3 paper maker Seha Corp. with main auction scheduled as early as this month.
Business landscape of the paper industry has been going through a rapid change amid demand for every type of paper except for boxes is decreasing sharply due to the concerns of their environmental footprint. The Korean government has sought to ease rules on mandatory issuing of paper receipts starting this year and encourage companies to replace them with electronic receipts.
The country’s top white paper manufacturer Hankuk Paper has been focusing on business diversification to respond to the falling demand after taking over Won Chang Corrugated Packaging last November.
Last October, local clothing manufacturer Sae-A Trading acquired the nation’s top box paper maker Tailim Packaging and its subsidiary Tailim Paper.
Market sources expect the industry’s smaller players including Jeonju Paper, Youngpoong Paper MFG and Monalisa owned by private equity funds would be put on the market for sale this year. Shinpoong Paper MFG suspended its white paper manufacturing plant in Pyeongtaek this month, and Daewang Paper also closed down its factory in Gunpo and filed for bankruptcy in July last year.
By Lee Duk-joo and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]