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MBK Partners Pays $1.1B for Woongiin Coway

Private equity fund MBK Partners will pay 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) for a stake in South Korean water purifier maker Woongjin Coway Co., sources said, in the country’s second billion-dollar plus buyout deal in under two weeks. Earlier on Thursday, Woongjin Holdings said it would sell its entire 28.4% stake in Woongjin Coway to MBK for 1.09 trillion won. MBK, run by former Carlyle Asia Partners president Michael Kim, will a buy a further 2.5% from other shareholders, and will pay 50,000 won a share, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

(Reuters) – Private equity fund MBK Partners will pay 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) for a stake in South Korean water purifier maker Woongjin Coway Co, sources said, in the country’s second billion-dollar plus buyout deal in under two weeks.

 

The buyout deals have emerged as South Korean conglomerates put non-core assets on sale while the country’s home-grown private equity funds, headed by executives formerly at global funds or international investment banks, increasingly step up to compete for assets.

 

Earlier on Thursday, Woongjin Holdings said it would sell its entire 28.4 percent stake in Woongjin Coway to MBK for 1.09 trillion won. MBK, run by former Carlyle Asia Partners president Michael Kim, will a buy a further 2.5 percent from other shareholders, and will pay 50,000 won a share, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

 

Woongjin Holdings has the right of first refusal to buy back its stake from MBK, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because some details of the deal were private.

 

MBK, one of Asia’s top private equity funds, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

Woongjin Holdings had put the stake on the block in February and hired Goldman Sachs as the deal arranger.

 

South Korea now has the third and fourth-largest private equity-led buyouts in Asia this year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

 

Earlier this month, a group of investors that includes private equity fund Affinity Equity Partners and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC agreed to buy a $1.1 billion stake in South Korea’s unlisted Kyobo Life Insurance from Daewoo International Corp.

 

Woongjin Coway shares fell 0.9 percent, compared with the 0.3 percent drop in South Korea’s benchmark share index.

(By Miyoung Kim and Joyce Lee)