Korean PE Funds Mull Bid for Woori

Korean private equity investors Vogo Fund and MBK Partners are considering a bid in the government’s continuing $6 billion auction of a stake in Woori Finance Holdings, Reuters reported Monday, citing a report in the Maeil Business Newspaper. The Woori sale is the country’s biggest-ever privatization project. The government is planning to accept letters of intent to buy at least 30 percent of Woori by June 29, Reuters wrote.

(Reuters) – Local private equity firms Vogo Fund and MBK Partners are mulling joining the government’s $6 billion auction of a stake in Woori Finance Holdings, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Monday.

Vogo was open to the possibility of tying up with other funds, the newspaper reported.

The two funds submitted initial interest in Woori in last year’s auction that was eventually halted because of a lack of interest from investors entitled to buy a 57 percent stake.

South Korea resumed the sale process in May, but political opposition led the government to abandon its plan to ease ownership rules to drum up interest in Woori, and to reject state-run KDB Financial Group’s bid plan, which clouded the sale prospects once again.

The Woori sale is the country’s biggest-ever privatisation project.

The government is planning to accept letters of intent to buy at least 30 percent of Woori by June 29.

Vogo and MBK were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Chris Lewis)