TMON delays IPO indefinitely amid leadership change

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TMON delays IPO indefinitely amid leadership change

TMON logo [ILGAN SPORTS]

TMON logo [ILGAN SPORTS]

TMON is postponing indefinitely its plan to go public.  
 
The e-commerce operator said Friday its plan for an initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of this year has been “adjusted.”  
 
The company said it will wait for a time when it is more prepared to go public.
 
TMON’s main investors are KKR and Anchor Equity Partners Korea, with the private equity companies owning as much as 90 percent of the stock, according to local reports. 
 
Analysts say that they may have delayed the IPO because the company was not expected to fetch a high enough price in the market.  
 
A change in CEO is also believed to have affected the company’s IPO plan.
 
Lee Jin-won stepped down as CEO in May and was replaced by Jon In-chon, a former CFO at HYBE, the entertainment company behind BTS. 
 
Joey Chang, former CEO of software developing company Atreez, was appointed co-CEO of TMON in June.  
 
“We are not withdrawing the IPO, but are adjusting the date until the timing is better,” said Choi Yang-hwan, a spokesperson for TMON.  
 
He admitted that now is “not a bad time for an e-commerce operator to go public” amid a continuing Covid-19 pandemic that has boosted demand for online shopping.  
 
But the company said it concluded it should wait until it offered more competitive services to customers "and our corporate value grows," according to Choi.
 
Specific plans on how the company will achieve those goals were not disclosed.  
 
In 2019, TMON was almost acquired by Lotte for around 1 trillion won ($890 million). The deal was scrapped two weeks ahead of the signing after TMON raised its asking price.    
 
TMON's sales last year were 151.2 billion won, down 12 percent on year. Its operating loss was 63.1 billion in 2020.  
 
TMON did not benefit much from Covid-19, as its core strengths are not grocery sales but tickets for performances, exhibitions and hotels.
 
Mirae Asset Securities was supposed to underwrite the TMON IPO.
 
Kurly, an e-commerce operator focused on groceries, is also planning an IPO. It has not specified a date, but it could go public later this year at the earliest.  
 
 

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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