MegaStudy to open coffee shops

Sohn Ju-eun, MegaStudy chairman

By Lee Hyo-sik

MegaStudy will enter the highly-competitive coffee franchise business as early as the second half of this year, to find a new source of income, company officials said Tuesday.

One of Korea’s largest operators of private learning institutes has been trying to diversify its portfolio as its education business has slowed over the past few years amid the intensifying competition and the declining youth population.

Founded in 2000 by Chairman Sohn Ju-eun, the company plans to ask shareholders, during a shareholders’ meeting, March 24, to approve the revision to its articles of association, enabling it to enter food and beverage sectors.

“The change will make it possible for the company to enter new businesses,” a MegaStudy official said. “We could open coffee shops in the latter half of this year. The board of directors has agreed to pass the revision and we believe that our shareholders will do the same.”

In April 2015, the company was split into two: MegaStudy Education and MegaStudy.

MegaStudy Education operates private learning institutes offering elementary, secondary and higher education programs, generating about 174.5 billion won ($151.7 billion) in sales in 2015.

MegaStudy, which earned 150.2 billion won in 2015, is in charge of running educational programs for those studying civil service and other career-related exams. The firm also generates about 13 percent of its revenue from running cafeterias at the institutes.

Both firms are listed on the tech-heavy Kosdaq market.

Chairman Sohn holds a 26.5 percent stake in MegaStudy, followed by the National Pension Service with 11.7 percent and Shinyoung Asset Management with 10.8 percent.

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