Face-mask maker Welkeeps is seeking a buyer for the company, industry sources said on September 18.
Samjong KPMG has been hired to help with the sale process and is going to start tapping potential buyers this week, according to sources.
Controlling ownership of the South Korean company held by chief executive Park Jong-han will be included in the sale. Park is said to have yet to decide whether to sell his entire stake or part of it.
Founded in 2010, Welkeeps is a manufacturer that specializes in face masks designed to protect from fine dust and splash contamination. Apart from selling masks under its own brand, it also operates original equipment manufacturing business. The company has rights to import and sell U.S. manufacturer GOJO’s hand sanitizer Purell in South Korea.
With its annual mask production of 120 million – which was equivalent to a third of total demand in the country before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic – Welkeeps has maintained a dominant position in the market. While there is a possibility that some market share could have been taken by new entrants, the company’s revenue is expected to have skyrocketed on the back of surging demand for masks during the pandemic and diversified sales channels.
Industry insiders anticipate that Welkeeps will record revenue of 150 billion won ($129 million) for this year, more than a sevenfold increase from the prior year. It posted revenue of 20.7 billion won and an operating income of 2.6 billion won in 2019.
Park has reportedly decided to sell his stake because he wanted the company to be managed by professional managers for its sustainable growth with its size increasing rapidly in the wake of the pandemic. (Reporting by Ar-rum Rho)