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Shinsegae acquires pro baseball club from SK Telecom

All News 11:23 January 26, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean retail giant Shinsegae Group said Tuesday it will acquire a professional baseball club owned by SK Group as it seeks to boost marketing with the sports team.

E-Mart Inc., the country's biggest discount store chain run by Shinsegae, has agreed to buy the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) from SK Telecom Co., the country's largest mobile carrier, for 135.2 billion won (US$122 million).

The deal includes acquisition of SK Telecom's 100 percent stake in the Wyverns as well as the club's properties and facilities. E-Mart will officially sign the main contract on Feb. 23.

Based in Incheon, about 40 kilometers west of Seoul, the Wyverns joined the league in 2000 after taking over from the defunct Ssangbangwool Raiders.

The Wyverns have won four Korean Series championships, most recently in 2018. They played in six consecutive Korean Series from 2007 to 2012, tied with two other clubs for the longest such streak.

The Wyverns had a dismal 2020 campaign, however, finishing in ninth place among 10 clubs at 51-92-1 (wins-losses-ties), which included a 10-game losing streak in the season's first month.

Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin is known as a baseball enthusiast. Shinsegae previously operated a women's pro basketball team, and it holds a 14.5 percent stake in another KBO club, the Samsung Lions.

This composite image shows logos of E-Mart Inc. (L) and South Korean pro baseball club SK Wyverns. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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