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June 4, 2021

PE firm Hahn & Co. buys majority stake in South Korea’s Namyang Dairy

Hahn & Co., the South Korea-based private-equity firm, has struck a deal to acquire the majority of local group Namyang Dairy.

Media reports in South Korea have reported Hahn & Co. has agreed to buy 52.6% of Namyang Dairy, which has attracted negative headlines in recent years.

In April, Namyang Dairy claimed one of its yogurt drinks showed 78% efficacy in preventing Covid-19, The Korea Herald reported.

After South Korea’s government said the company had broken advertising rules, the firm’s chairman, Hong Won-sik, resigned, The Korea Times said. Hong is the son of Namyang Dairy’s founder, Hong Doo-young. Combined with other members of the Hong family, Mr. Hong owned a majority of the business.

In 2013, a voice recording reportedly emerged of a Namyang Dairy salesperson forcing distributors to buy more of the country’s products. The affair sparked a consumer boycott, which led to the company losing its top spot in South Korea’s dairy market to local rival Maeil Dairy.

Just Food has asked Hahn & Co. for comment on the deal.

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