SK Holdings submits initial bid for Goldman-backed Daesung Gases: Reuters

SK Holdings Co (034730.KS) said it submitted a non-binding bid to buy South Korea’s second-biggest producer of industrial gases that has been put up for sale by Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and others, in a deal a source said could be valued at around $2 billion.

Shareholders in Daesung Industrial Gases, including Goldman and Daesung Group Partners (005620.KS), put up for sale the 100 percent stake in the firm earlier this year.

Besides SK, Blackstone (BX.N), KKR (KKR.N) and Carlyle (CG.O) also submitted non-binding bids, South Korean online media Money Today reported on Friday, citing unnamed industry sources.

SK Holdings, a conglomerate holding company, made the announcement of its bid in a securities filing on Friday, but did not elaborate. A person with direct knowledge of the sales process told Reuters the deal could be worth around $2 billion. The person declined to be identified as the sales process was confidential.

A Daesung Group Partners spokesman said it plans an early 2017 sale as the company is keen to sell its stake to cut debt, but declined to give any other details.

Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, KKR and Carlyle declined comment. A spokesman for SK Holdings could not be immediately reached for comment.
Daesung Industrial Gases produces industrial gases like nitrogen and oxygen, used in the steel, petrochemicals, refining, electronics and medical sectors.

It is South Korea’s No. 2 maker of industrial and special gases with a 25 percent market share, with major customers including LG Display (034220.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS), according to the company.