South Korea’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals focused on infrastructure assets are enjoying a boom amid a sluggish M&A market at home and abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Citi Global Market Securities is hinting at solid track records in the second half of this year, as it leads two big-ticket waste management company deals.

Affirma Capital signed a stock purchase agreement with SK Group to sell its waste management unit EMC Holdings on September 1, industry sources said. The sale of EMC Holdings is the latest of three big deals in the waste management sector, with the transaction value of around 1 trillion won ($841 million). Previously, Eco Green Holdings was sold for 875 billion won and Koentec and Saehan Environment were sold for 502 billion won.

Citi Global Market Securities acted as an advisor on two of the three deals, including Anchor Equity Partners’ sale of Eco Green Holdings to KRR and Affirma Capital’s sale of EMC Holdings to SK Group.

The sale of Eco Green Holdings has been done through limited competitive bidding. Citi Global Market Securities acted as a deal advisor to Anchor Equity Partners again this year, after it helped the firm to sell two portfolio companies in 2019. The brokerage firm accelerated the sale process of Eco Green Holdings with global infrastructure funds such as KKR and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners showing strong interest.

The securities firm provided financial advice to Affirma Capital for the first time through the latest EMC Holdings deal.

Affirma Capital chose Citi Global Market Securities and Standard Chartered Securities as its joint deal managers for EMC Holdings sale to reach a larger pool of target potential buyers.

Dozens of potential buyers received information memorandum and more than 15 firms submitted their non-binding offers in the first round of bidding for EMC Holdings.

Citi Global Market Securities ranked ninth in the bell’s league tables in the first half of this year, managing deals worth a combined 940 billion won. It is expected to climb up the ladder by year-end, thanks to the two big-ticket deals. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)