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CVC Capital to sell kimchi fridge maker for $145 mln: Reuters

Global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has agreed to sell kimchi refrigerator maker WiniaMando Inc for around 150 billion won ($144.73 million) to South Korea’s Hyundai Green Food Co, a Hyundai spokeswoman said on Monday.

WiniaMando’s main brand is Dimchae, a line of refrigerators designed to store kimchi – a spicy and pungent side dish comprising fermented cabbage and other vegetables. The company pioneered the concept of kimchi fridges and holds a market share of over 30 percent in South Korea, according to CVC’s website.

Kimchi refrigerators have special temperature switches to control the fermentation process. They are also capable of storing perishables for longer. Kimchi is traditionally made in large batches in late autumn or early winter.

Hyundai Green Food said on Monday that it signed a memorandum of agreement on Aug. 7 with WiniaMando Holdings B.V., and that it was reviewing the feasibility of buying WiniaMando. CVC owns WiniaMando through WiniaMando Holdings B.V.

The Hyundai spokeswoman said the contract would be signed after Hyundai completes its due diligence on WiniaMando.

CVC, which first acquired a stake in the company under a UBS Capital-led consortium in 1999, declined to comment.

In 2013, WiniaMando reported revenue of 412.9 billion won and operating profit of 17.2 billion won, compared with revenue of 426.7 billion won and operating profit of 33.2 billion won a year earlier, according to filings.

The 2013 figures do not include the financials of a small Chinese subsidiary.

Shares in Hyundai Green Food closed 5.2 percent higher on Monday, beating a 0.4 percent rise in the wider market.

(1 US dollar = 1,036.4000 Korean won)

(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Stephen Aldred; Editing by Ryan Woo)