China’s V-Grass to buy S Korea’s fashion brand Teenie Weenie for $900m

South Korea apparel and retail firm E-Land Group is selling a youth clothing brand to China’s V-Grass Fashion Co Ltd for nearly $900 million, cashing in on a boom in Korean fashion and cosmetics China to raise funds to cut debt.

E-Land, South Korea’s biggest apparel retailer, said on Friday it expected to close the sale of its Teenie Weenie business for around 1 trillion won by the year-end. It said the sale will help cut its debt-to-capital ratio by about a third.

The Teenie Weenie deal comes amid surging demand in China for Korean products, led by the success of cosmetics firms tapping massive interest among Chinese consumers in Korean TV dramas and K-pop music.

“Korean fashion companies are embracing trends very quickly,” Lee Gyu-jin, vice president at E-Land Group, told Reuters. “Teenie Weenie has strength of both Korean firms and localised Chinese firm.”

Launched in China in 2004, Teenie Weenie already has a strong profile for its casual clothing aimed at teens and early 20s shoppers. It operates 1,400 department store and other outlets there with annual revenue of 420 billion won, E-Land said.

The purchase is a sizeable investment for Shanghai-listed V-Grass, a women’s apparel firm with a market value of about $685 million that is little known outside China. V-Grass said it planned to release a statement later on Friday setting out details of the transaction and how it will be paid.

Earlier this year V-Grass said it planned to raise up to 1.35 billion yuan ($202 million) in a private share placement “to fund projects”.

China International Capital Corporation advised E-Land on the deal, while China Securities Co Ltd advised V-Grass.

Separately, E-Land Group said it had dropped a plan to sell its Kim’s Club hypermarket chain to U.S. private equity fund KKR & Co LP, citing differences over price. Wire service Yonhap had reported E-Land was seeking between 700 billion-1 trillion won for the business.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.