|Herald Corp. CEO Lee Young-man (right) and CBNF chief Choi Jung-hwi pose after signing an agreement on Herald’s takeover of the food company at Herald Corp.’s headquarters in central Seoul last week. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)|
Herald Corp., which publishes The Korea Herald, has taken over Cheonbo Natural Food, or CBNF, the No. 1 organic food provider in Korea, in an effort to enter the fast-growing premium whole food market.
Herald officials said the company signed an agreement with CBNF on the takeover last week, securing the food company‘s managerial rights.
CBNF, headquartered in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, has built its reputation as a leading organic and whole food provider since its establishment in 2006. Its sales reached around 20 billion won ($18.6 million) last year, taking the top post in its business segment.
The food company sells about 180 eco-friendly products, including not only Korean organic rice and grain products but also imported whole food products. For the first time in Korea’s grain industry, the company won the ISO 22000 certification from the Korea Productivity Center for its advanced and sanitary food processing environment.
“With the takeover deal with CBNF, Herald is evolving into an environmentally friendly lifestyle brand beyond the media and education businesses,” Herald Corp. chairman Jungwook Hong said.
Under the vision “Life Beyond Media,” Herald, which marks its 60th anniversary this year, has expanded its business domain into eco-friendly lifestyle businesses for the past few years, penetrating into the eco-materials, design and organic juice markets.
Herald Ecofarm, the food business unit of Herald Corp., will be responsible for cultivating CBNF as the nation’s top premium whole food brand by 2020, the company said.
“For this, we will merge Cheonbo brand into a new and integrated organic food brand ‘Organica’ and put more efforts to develop quality whole food products,” said Woo In-ho, senior executive vice president of Herald Ecofarm.
Choi Jung-hwi, the founder of CBNF, also raised hope for a synergy effect after the merger, saying that a win-win partnership could be created when CBNF’s management know-how in processing and distributing premium agricultural food products is combined with Herald’s credibility to nurture socially responsible lifestyle brands.
“Herald will take a lead in promoting a healthy, natural lifestyle in Korea, while introducing eco-friendly, healthy and natural food products under the Organica brand,” Herald chairman Hong said.
By Seo Jee-yeon (email@example.com