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K Auction to make stock debut this month

K Auction headquarters in Seoul. (K Auction)
K Auction headquarters in Seoul. (K Auction)
K Auction, South Korea’s second-largest auction house by revenue, said Thursday that it plans to go public on Jan. 24, in what its chief said will be the first step to take on its bigger rival Seoul Auction.

“A transparent platform that will maximize the positive impact of art and outcompete our rival, that’s what we have in mind,” K Auction CEO Do Hyun-soon said at an online conference. Seoul Auction began trading on the junior Kosdaq exchange in 2008.

K Auction, which has submitted a prospectus for a 32 billion-won ($26 million) Kosdaq listing, expects to offer 1.6 million shares at an indicative range of 17,000-20,000 won per share, which would raise between 27 billion won and 32 billion won.

Established in 2005, K Auction was the first auction house here to take auctions online in 2006.

The firm calls its K-Office system a one-stop platform streamlining the ways clients manage their art works by helping them select works of interest and find tips to maintain them.

“The reason that’s possible is that the system is a database of more than 120,000 works we have appraised. It has standardized the way artwork gets distributed here,” a K Auction official said.

K Auction and Seoul Auction accounted for a combined 91 percent market share in 2021. Seoul Auction has recently received a 28 billion won investment from department store chain Shinsegae.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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