Darby Private Equity exits Leadcorp

Darby Private Equity, the private equity unit of Franklin Templeton Investments, said Tuesday that has exited its holding in Leadcorp through sales on Korea Exchange‘s KOSDAQ market. Headquartered in Seoul, Leadcorp is a consumer finance company in South Korea.


Washington, DC, December 17, 2013 – Darby Private Equity (“Darby”), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that Darby Asia Mezzanine Fund II (“DAMF II”), has divested its equity holding in Leadcorp, Inc. (“Leadcorp”), [KOSDAQ: 012700], through sales on the KOSDAQ Market of Korea Exchange. Earlier this year in April, Leadcorp fully repaid the senior secured notes previously issued to DAMF II. Headquartered in Seoul, Leadcorp is one of the largest consumer finance companies in South Korea. Leadcorp is also engaged in petroleum distribution and the operation of a highway rest area concession facility.
DAMF II, a fund advised by Darby, first invested in Leadcorp in October 2007 in the form of senior secured notes and common shares, to support the expansion of its consumer finance business, a core business for the company. DAMF II made follow-on investments in the form of senior-secured notes issued by Leadcorp in October 2010 and December 2011.
DAMF II was established in 2005 with total initial equity and debt capital commitments of US$254 million at final closing. DAMF II has made selective investments in high growth, mid-sized companies operating in the Asia region.
David Hudson, Senior Managing Director, Darby Asia, commented, “We are excited about the success of the Leadcorp investment, the fifth exit from the DAMF II portfolio. Leadcorp represents another example of the investment potential for growth capital for businesses in Asia.”
“Leadcorp is a leading Korean consumer finance company with a prudent lending policy,” added Simon Sham, Managing Director, Darby Asia. “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide the company with long-term growth capital, which allowed it to expand its consumer finance business in the face of substantial market volatility during the past few years.”
Darby Private Equity was founded in 1994 by The Honorable Nicholas F. Brady, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury between 1988 and 1993. Richard Frank joined the firm as CEO in 1997 after his career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank. In 2003, Darby became a fully-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. For more information please visit darbyoverseas.com.
Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and more than US$870 billion in assets under management as of November 30, 2013. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.