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E-Mart finalizes purchase of baseball club from SK Telecom

All News 16:14 February 23, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- E-Mart Inc., South Korea largest discount store chain, finalized its purchase of a professional baseball club owned by top mobile carrier SK Telecom on Tuesday.

E-Mart, run by the retail giant Shinsegae Group, announced that it has acquired the entire stake that SK Telecom had in the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) at 100 billion won (US$90 million).

The news of the sale first surfaced last month, with Shinsegae Group unveiling plans to leverage E-Mart's brand power and create synergy with the baseball club.

This composite image provided by E-Mart on Jan. 26, 2021, shows the logos of E-Mart (L) and the South Korean pro baseball club SK Wyverns. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Shinsegae is also in the process of changing the name of the club. SSG is expected to be the company name in front, taken from Shinsegae's online mall, SSG.com.

The group applied for a trademark on "Electros," from its Electro Mart store chain, at the start of this month, fueling speculation that it could be the new nickname for the team. But since that move got leaked to the media, Shinsegae has been considering other options, too.

The transaction was announced hours after the ballclub made a huge splash by signing former major league All-Star Choo Shin-soo to a 2.7 billion won contract. Choo is the highest-paid player in KBO history.

Members of the SK Wyverns train at Kang Chang-hak Stadium in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, during spring training on Feb. 1, 2021. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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