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Nature Republic aborts IPO, goes on sale

[THE INVESTOR] Nature Republic’s founder and largest stakeholder Jung Woon-ho is reviewing selling his entire 73.88 percent stake (5,605,920 shares), according to Money Today on Oct. 17.

The acquisition offer is led by Jeong Geun-cheol, an outside director appointed in July, and several candidates have been contacted for a private deal.

The most likely contender would come from China, experts say, as despite the mess caused by the former founding CEO’s bribery scandal, the affordable cosmetics company remains attractive especially for the Chinese market.

Nature Republic’s store in Los Angeles
Nature Republic’s store in Los Angeles

The company’s stock price has plunged and partly recovered to over 40,000 won, making Jung’s shares worth about 224.2 billion won. The still-incarcerated entrepreneur, however, is hoping for more.

A consortium of South Korean cosmetics companies is also interested in the merger.

Nature Republic denied any knowledge of the possible deal saying that the shares are privately owned by Jung as an individual.

By Hwang You-mee (