Jinro plans to offer 14.4 million shares held mostly by its number two and three shareholders -- savings associations of military officers and teachers. Jinro hopes to raise at least 648 billion won (US$537.6 million) based on the new pricing range versus the nearly US$708 million it aimed to raise previously.
Jinro, whose majority controlled by South Korea’s Hite Holdings, said in a filing with the local regulator that it had lowered the pricing range to 45,000-50,000 won from the 54,000-60,000 won range given last month.
This is the second entry into South Korea’s stock market for the country’s biggest maker of soju -- literally ‘distilled drink,’ which is usually made from grain or potatoes and has an alcohol content of about 20 percent. It was delisted in 2003 following bankruptcy. Jinro has to battle with stronger rival Lotte, which bought the country’s No. 2 soju maker for $386 million earlier this year, and provincial manufacturers trying to break into the Seoul metropolitan region -- home to half the country’s population.
Since its launch in 1924, Jinro Soju has changed the drinking culture of Asia and has grown into the world’s best selling spirit. Jinro’s success can be attributed to it’s passion for crafting a spirit from Korea’s finest natural resources: choice grains and spring water. Jinro Soju is a reflection of that dedication to purity and the experience of nearly a century of spirit making artistry. Jinro Soju is enjoyed for its smooth, clean flavor in over 60 countries on five continents.
Koreans alone consume nearly one billion bottles of Jinro Soju per month, and Jinro enjoys a 58% percent share of the Korean soju market. In Japan, Jinro has been the top selling diluted soju for almost a decade, outselling eighty-six competitors. Globally, Jinro has been the world’s best selling spirit for six consecutive years, outselling other leading brands like Stolichnaya, Bacardi and Johnny Walker.
Jinro America, Inc was established in 1986 in the United States and pioneered soju’s popularity in the West. Jinro America played a key role in successfully lobbying the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to allow restaurants in California and New York with only a beer and wine license to sell soju, a distilled spirit.
This unique status has made Jinro Soju one of the fastest growing spirit brands in the U.S.