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IPOs

7brau becomes Korea's second craft brewery en route to IPO

The company eyes 2022 listing; valuation stands at around 80 billion won to 90 billion won

By Jul 14, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

7brau becomes Korea's second craft brewery en route to IPO

South Korea-based Seven Brau Co., or 7brau, is poised to become the country's second craft brewery to make a trading debut, following the footsteps of Jeju Beer Co., as it kicks off the hiring process for an underwriter.

According to investment banking industry sources on July 14, 7brau has received bid proposals from multiple domestic brokerage firms. The company plans to select a lead manager in the near time as it targets an initial public offering in 2022.

Founded in 2003 by Chief Executive Kim Kang-sam, the company first began as a beer pub and officially tapped into the craft brewery business in 2011 after becoming the first small and medium-sized company in Korea to obtain a brewery license.

Since then, the company has made many beers including the country's first ale 7brau IRP as well as craft beers named after popular cities and locations such as Seoul, Hangang (Han River) and Yangpyeong.

But the company rose to fame last year when it unveiled the Gompyo beer which became a huge hit nationwide.

Gompyo beer was a collaboration between 7brau, the major convenience store CU and flour company, Daehan Flour Mill Co. The beer was made with local wheat and key flavors that include passion fruit, peach and pineapple. Its packaging featured the Daehan Flour Mill's iconic white bear mascot.

The first 100,000 cans of Gompyo beer sold out just three days after its release. Since then, Gompyo beer has remained as one of the country's most sold beers in convenience stores. At one point, it even surpassed major beer brands such as Cass, Terra and Heineken, becoming the top-grossing beer at CU convenience stores.

Given its success, industry watchers expect 7brau to log over 10 billion won ($8.7 million) in operating profit this year thanks to Gompyo beer becoming a steady seller.

Also, Korea's revised liquor tax law is expected to aid the company's growth since it allows breweries to outsource beer production, meaning that 7brau would be able to use beverage manufacturer Lotte Chilsung's brewery to mass-produce Gompyo beer, thereby meeting the surging demand.

The company's strong growth has attracted investments from domestic institutional investors.

Last month, 7brau raised 10 billion won from Ulmus Investment. It is also set to raise an additional 4 billion won from ID Ventures and Kiwoom Securities this month. During the investment process, 7brau received a valuation of around 80 billion won to 90 billion won.

Write to Jin-sung Kim at jskim1028@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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