South Korea’s Hyundai Department Store is buying trading company SK Networks’ fashion business for KRW326.1 billion (US$284 million).
When the purchase is complete, probably by February, SK Networks (SKN) will no longer have interests in the fashion industry.
The two companies have signed a deal to merge SKN’s 12 fashion brands into Hyundai’s Handsome fashion unit, which has annual sales of KRW750 billion. With SKN’s KRW600 billion added in, the merged group becomes the fourth-largest fashion company in South Korea behind E-Land, Samsung C&T and LF.
Hyundai says it will retain SKN’s 400 designers, merchandisers, marketers and production staff, guaranteeing their jobs for five years.
Analysts say the two businesses are a good fit and are unlikely to cannibalise each other’s trade as Handsome is known largely for its local womenswear brands while SKN is a major importer of global labels such as American Eagle, Club Monaco, DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger.
Its house brands include Obzee, O’2nd and Rouge & Lounge.