Coway Changes Name After Netmarble’s Aquisition

Coway's logo

Household rental service company Woongjin Coway changed its name to Coway after it was acquired by Netmarble, South Korea’s largest mobile gaming company.

Coway organized an interim meeting on Friday at the company’s headquarters in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province. The shareholders voted to lose the Woongjin from the company name, making it more straightforward.

Three new inside directors were appointed during the meeting, namely Netmarble-Coway task force team leader Seo Jang-won, Netmarble Chairman Bang Jun-hyuk, and Coway CEO Lee Hae-sun.

Meanwhile, four new outside directors were also appointed, namely Yoon Boo-hyun, adviser for LG Uplus, Lee Da-woo, partner at law firm Yulchon, Kim Jin-bae, professor at Korea University Business School, Kim Kyu-ho, and professor at Sogang University. All new appointments have a term limit of three years.

Kim Jin-bae, Lee Da-woo, and Yoon Boo-hyun also became the new members of the audit committee.

Netmarble agreed to buy a 25.08 percent share in Coway for $1.46 billion (1.74 trillion) from Woongjin Thinkbig, an education solutions provider, which was the previous majority stakeholder.

Netmarble announced on Tuesday that it loaned $461 million (550 billion won) from a financial institution to complete the acquisition of Coway within this month.

Coway started as an industry-first company renting out water purifiers in Korea in April of 1998. The company continuously expanded its services by adding new products for rent, such as electronic bidets, smart closets, and mattresses.

Netmarble Chairman Bang Jun-hyuk had previously set an objective of attaining $4.2 billion (5 trillion won) worth of revenue this year. In 2018, Netmarble raised around $1.7 billion (2 trillion won) in revenue.

However, the game industry cast doubts on Netmarble’s acquisition of Conway, pointing out the complete difference between their services and target consumers.

The gaming company envisions merging its know-how in game development such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud technology with Coway’s rental service to venture into a subscription-based smart home business.

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About James Jung

Senior Writer @KoreaTechToday

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