South Korea’s SM Line is hoping to raise up to KRW 846bn ($710m) from an initial public offering in Seoul, according to a regulatory filing.

The mid-size containership owner is offering 33.8m shares, including 16.9m new shares, at between KRW 18,000 and KRW 25,000 per share.

The company plans to undertake a book-building exercise in early November, with subscriptions due to take place between 4 and 5 November.

The shipowner looks to be taking advantage of the double whammy of a red-hot containership market and South Korea’s equally red-hot IPO market.

South Korea’s market for IPOs has been on fire in the third quarter with record earnings, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.

Firms selling shares in Seoul have raised about $10bn since 1 July thanks to blockbuster IPOs from the likes of Hyundai Heavy Industries and several tech companies.

SM Line told TradeWinds in January that it had appointed Mirae Asset Daewoo as underwriter for the IPO, while NH Investment & Securities is acting as book-running lead manager.

The company has a fleet of 12 containerships according to its website, which range in capacity from 1,098 teu to 6,655 teu.

Fleet expansion

SM Line plans to use the proceeds of the IPO to expand its fleet, invest in containers and explore new business opportunities.

The company is the liner arm of Samra Midas Group, which also owns bulker firms Korea Line Corp and Korea Shipping Corp, formerly Samsun Logix. Samra Midas is a South Korean conglomerate known as a construction firm.

If listed, SM Line will become the first South Korean shipping company to go public since its smaller rival KSS Line did so in 2007.

In late September, HHI raised $1bn from an IPO, much of which will go towards funding investments in new technology to build greener vessels.

Shares in the world’s largest shipbuilder surged 86% on their first day of trading on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index.

Analysts said at the time the surge in HHI’s share price showed that investors were seeking to participate in the recovery of the shipping and shipbuilding industry after years of recession.

LNG carrier and bulker owner H-Line Shipping is reported to be considering a second attempt at an IPO after its first attempt in 2018 fell through due to sluggish markets.

The company is currently owned by local private equity fund Hahn and Company Co.