[THE INVESTOR] Global investment giant Goldman Sachs has invested 34 billion won (US$30 million) in Korean food ingredients company Sun-in, the two firms announced on Oct. 11.
“Sun-in is a local industry champion with significant further growth potential given the continuing diversification of diets and palates in Korea. We look forward to bringing our strong global network and decades of experience in building global market leaders to the company,” Stephanie Hui, co-head of private equity at Goldman Sachs in Asia, said in a statement,
The Korean firm plans to use the funds to upgrade manufacturing and distribution facilities, as well as to invest in its customer service technology to further optimize ordering and delivery experience for clients.
“This investment will further strengthen our leadership position in the market. It will help us introduce and bring new defining products to the market, as well as innovate through the use of technology to further cater to the needs of our clients,” Hugo Lee, founder and CEO of Sun-in, said.
Founded in 1987, Sun-in produces more than 1,000 specialty food ingredients. It supplies to 2,000 businesses including major bakeries, cafes, restaurants and fast-food franchises.
Backed by the country’s burgeoning dessert culture, Sun-in’s sales grew 16 percent a year on average in the past 10 years, the company said. Last year alone, it racked up revenue of 84 billion won.
According to government data, Korea’s dessert market was estimated to be worth 8.9 trillion won in 2014, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier. The number of cafes and bakeries grew 81 percent to more than 72,000 locations between 2009 and 2014.
The latest investment in Sun-in comes on the back of a string of funding from Goldman Sachs in Korean food-related businesses.
In August 2016, it invested US$35 million in a cookware and kitchen appliances company Happycall and US$40 million in Woowa Brothers, the owner and operator of Korea’s leading online and mobile food ordering service Baedal Minjok, in November 2014. In addition to investments in food-related firms, Goldman Sachs has also invested in ZIGBANG, Korea’s fastest growing property listing platform in December 2015.
Since 1999, the New York-based investment firm has invested over US$4 billion in Korea.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)