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SM Line files for IPO review, aims for Kosdaq listing in second-half

The filing comes as Korean shippers are preparing stock listings on a recovery in cross-border shipments

By Jul 13, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SM Line container ship
SM Line container ship

South Korean merchant liner SM Line Corp. has filed for a preliminary review by the Korea Exchange of its plan to go public on the junior Kosdaq market in the second half of this year.

According to the stock market operator on Tuesday, SM Line has submitted its initial public offering plan to list a total of 79.63 million shares on Kosdaq. Of which, some 23.9 million shares will be offered for public subscription.

Industry officials estimate the company’s enterprise value at between 2 trillion won and 3 trillion won ($1.75 billion-$2.62 billion), based on expectations the container line operator will post an operating profit in the 600 billion won range this year.

NH Investment & Securities Co. is the underwriter of the IPO.

SM Line was created in 2018 after SM Group, formerly known as Samla Midas Group, took over assets of bankrupt Hanjin Shipping Co., once one of Korea’s largest operators of container ships.

It has since grown its shipping operations on its Southeast Asian and American routes. In 2020, it joined hands with the world’s largest shipping alliance, 2M, to better serve its Korea-US West Coast route.

On Dec. 23, 2020, SM Line also participated in the launch of the K-Alliance, a group of five Korean shipping companies including HMM, Pan Ocean, Heung-A Line and Sinokor Merchant Marine.


The IPO plan comes after the shipper posted a record 2020 operating profit of 140.6 billion won on revenue of 1.03 trillion won on a consolidated basis, boosted by growing demand for container ships amid soaring freight rates as global business activities began to recover from the pandemic lows.

SM Line container ship docked at the Port of Long Beach
SM Line container ship docked at the Port of Long Beach

In the first quarter of this year, SM Line posted 134 billion won in net profit.

The company said proceeds from the public share sale will be used to buy more ships, invest in container equipment and explore new business opportunities.
The company has said it plans to strengthen its Southeast Asian trade through the K-Alliance as well as expand its American business by launching a Korea-US East Coast route service.

Samla Midas Co., the holding firm of Samla Group, is SM Line’s largest shareholder with a 41.4% stake. Related companies TK Chemical Corp. and Samla Co. own 29.6% and 29.1% of the shipper, respectively.

SM Group’s other shipping affiliates include Kospi-listed Korea Line Corp. and non-listed Korea Shipping Corp.

Write to Ye-Jin Jun at

In-Soo Nam edited this article.
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