Kim Chang-soo is ranked 18th among billionaires in Korea on the real-time billionaires list … [+]
JOONGANG ILBO / FORBES KOREA
Less than a year after debuting on Forbes’ Korea Rich List, clothing maker Kim Chang-soo’s net worth tripled to $ 2.1 billion, propelling him into the rankings of the US thanks to a spin-off focused on investing 20 richest people in the country start-ups.
Kim’s Korean-listed company F&F spun off its core apparel business, which includes the MLB and Discovery Expedition brands, last month. The spin-off company called F&F Co. Ltd. was listed on the Korean Stock Exchange on May 21st. Its stocks have risen about 15% since then, as investors who were bullish about its clothing brands followed the spin-off.
The remaining company has been renamed F&F Holdings and is now focused on investing in other companies. Stocks, which were suspended on April 28, have fallen around 50% since trading resumed following their spin-off company’s listing. F&F Holdings stock stabilized last week and is still up 90% since 2019.
Kim, 60, is the largest shareholder in F&F Co. Ltd. and F&F Holdings each with 45% of the shares. With a net worth of $ 2.1 billion, he ranks 18th among Korean billionaires on the real-time billionaires list, just behind LG chairman Koo Kwang-mo and Naver co-founder Lee Hae-jin.
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While investors in F&F Co. Ltd. F&F Holdings seems to be serious about investing in startups. A month after F&F Holdings decided to outsource its apparel business, the company set up an investment subsidiary called F&F Partners in December. According to Korean startup funding site The VC, F&F Partners has so far invested a total of more than 3.9 billion won (approximately $ 3.5 million) in three content production startups: BambooNetwork, Channel OCT and WhyNot Media.
F&F Holdings also appointed Park Eui-heon, former CEO of Korean financial group Meritz Financial Group, on Jan.
Kim’s nephew Min-seok is also a successful entrepreneur. Min-seok is the producer of the viral Baby Shark Dance video, which has 8.7 billion views, making it the most viewed video on YouTube. Released in 2016, the two-minute catchy tune about a shark family went viral in 2018, surpassing Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” as the most watched YouTube video last November. In 2010, Min-seok founded the online education provider SmartStudy, which published “Baby Shark Dance”, together with two former colleagues from the Korean game companies Nexon and NHN.