Affirma Capital invests in media commerce firm APR

Singapore-headquartered private equity firm Affirma Capital will acquire a minority stake in South Korea’s largest media commerce firm APR Co Ltd through its fourth fund, sources said on August 11.

The PE firm will purchase redeemable convertible preferred shares (RCPS) and some common stocks in the deal which is expected to close next month.

Media commerce companies develop their own brands and sell products directly to customers through social media marketing, bypassing any third-party retailers or wholesalers.

APR is the largest media commerce company in the country in terms of revenue. The company posted 159 billion won ($134 million) in revenue and 7.2 billion won in operating income on a consolidated basis in 2019. Its revenue was 102.6 billion won in 2018. The company has continued its uptrend, recording revenue of 49.4 billion won, operating income of 6.1 billion won and net income of 5 billion won in the first quarter of this year.

Established in 2014, APR has health functional food company Glam.D, apparel brand NERDY, photo booth provider Photogray Oreazin and three cosmetic brands – Aprilskin, Medicube and Forment – under its umbrella.

Medicube’s revenue stood at 55.3 billion won last year, taking up most of the APR’s revenue. Its revenue increased nearly by 44% compared to a year ago.

Aprilskin’s revenue also grew by 33% to 31.7 billion won last year. NERDY recorded revenue of 36.3 billion won in 2019, up 66% compared to the previous year.

APR’s overseas business is showing exponential growth, with the firm’s revenue in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S. increasing between 150% and 450% in the first quarter.

Previously, APR raised 27.6 billion won from Mirae Asset Venture Investment Co Ltd, NH Investment & Securities Co Ltd and KB Securities in 2018. The firm was reportedly valued at 200 billion won. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)