The Korea Herald


JS Corp. lends W100b for acquisition of Grand Hyatt Seoul

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : June 2, 2023 - 14:57

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Grand Hyatt Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Grand Hyatt Seoul) Grand Hyatt Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Grand Hyatt Seoul)

South Korean handbag maker JS Corp. said Friday it recently lent 100 billion won ($76 million) to its affiliate JS 747, in its effort to gain a controlling stake in Grand Hyatt Seoul, a historic five-star hotel located in central Seoul.

In a regulatory filing, JS Corp. reported it decided to lend a total of 100 billion won, which amounts to 39.14 percent of the firm's total equity, to its subsidiary JS 747.

JS 747 is a special purpose company, jointly established by JS Corp. and a local asset management BlueCove Investment to acquire Grand Hyatt Seoul. The hotel, which opened in July 1978, is among Korea's most renowned historic hotels, standing on 60,000 square meters of land and consisting of 615 guest rooms.

JS Corp. said that with the recent loan, the company will be acquiring a stake in JS 747 in the future in a debt-equity swap. Debt-equity swaps refer to the conversion of loans into shares, and the process allows the lender to become a shareholder of the invested entity.

Currently, JS Corp. holds a 50 percent stake in JS 747. Blue Cove Asset Management's real estate fund, which is worth 100 billion won, holds the rest of the stake, with 90 percent of the fund invested by JS Corporation.

As a result, JS Corp. will be investing a total of some 190 billion won to acquire Grand Hyatt Seoul.

The move for JS Corp. to acquire Grand Hyatt Seoul comes as Seoul Miramar, a local hotel operator that invested 600 billion won in 2019 to acquire a controlling stake in Grand Hyatt Seoul, has sought to sell the hotel since the second half of last year due to worsening financial structure.

"With an investment that tallies up to 190 billion won, we will be acquiring 95 percent of (Grand Hyatt Seoul)," Hong Jae-sung, the chairman of JS Corp., told local media.

Meanwhile, JS Corp., a Kospi-listed company which reported annual sales of 975 billion won last year, specializes in original equipment manufacturing processes of globally renowned luxury brands including Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade and Burberry.