“Praxis” is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied or realized. It also refers to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing or practicing ideas

Company Description

Praxis Capital Partners is a Korea-based private equity firm focused on growth capital & buyout investments in Korean mid-cap companies. For over 7 years, the firm has invested into Korean mid-cap companies with rapid growth potentials and provided to them industry leading management, necessary expansion capital, and strategic and operational advice and guidance to grow their core businesses and to create value. Praxis has raised and managed three blind funds and five project funds with aggregate committed capital of nearly 1 trillion won. It primarily invests in consumer/retail and technology industries where it has deep expertise including Lifestyle, Contents and IT related Services.

Team

Praxis brings together a team staffed by native Koreans with strong local network combined with international work experience in management consulting, investment banking, law, and operations. Praxis believes this deep and diverse collective experience helps the firm make better decisions and have a broader impact on portfolio companies, which serve as the foundation for achieving superior investment results. Today, Praxis has 10 investment professionals, all with distinguished and varied academic and professional backgrounds. The three Managing Partners & Co-CEOs of Praxis (Minsang La, Kwan Hoon Lee & Joonsik Yoon) have worked together for more than 10 years and have been together since the firm’s foundation.

Investment Strategy

Praxis focuses on growth capital & control buyouts in the Korean mid-cap market. It targets “game changers”, Korean mid-cap companies with rapid growth potential in its core market with strategic and operational differentiation. The central premise of Praxis’ strategy is that superior investment returns are driven by portfolio company growth, and it believes it has the skills and experience to significantly improve company performance and to drive such growth through its proprietary value creation methodology “T3 Program” and management consulting capability of its investment professionals.  Since establishment, Praxis has successfully executed 19 investments and exited 9 of them achieving an average gross IRR of above 30%.

Recent Investments

Praxis Capital Partners is known for its bold strategy of betting on areas that other firms would rather shun.

The mid-cap private equity (PE) firm has mostly invested in small to mid-sized companies with an enterprise value of between 50 billion and 200 billion won ($43 to $172 million), but it invested a whopping 300 billion won to acquire 21.8% of the shares in South Korean TV drama production firm JTBC Studios Co. in December 2020, becoming the second-largest shareholder.

In the same year Praxis also acquired a controlling stake in St. Paul American School Hanoi, an international school in Hanoi, Vietnam. This marked the first cross-border investment for Praxis, which decided on the deal after learning that Vietnam has a shortage of good private schools despite a boom in education.

Praxis also acquired a controlling stake in South Korean secondhand e-commerce platform Bunjang.co.kr., which was the first deal through its third blind-pool fund.

In addition, Praxis made bolt-on acquisitions to enhance the value of BusinessOn Communication, a Seoul-based e-tax invoice company which it had acquired for 93 billion won ($80 million) in 2019. A bolt-on acquisition refers to a company that is added by a PE firm to one of its platform companies.

There have also been some exits. Praxis sold the restaurant business of seafood buffet restaurant and wedding hall Todai Korea, in which it had acquired a 48% stake five years ago. And in 2019, Praxis exited its investment in E-Land Retail, a subsidiary of South Korean retail giant E-Land Group.

Praxis acquired the firm in 2017 in a consortium with other investment firms, including Curious Partners, with the exit generating an internal rate of return of more than 23%. The firm also made a partial exit from Hojeon Ltd., one of its portfolios in the apparel sector, selling a stake of about 4% to lock in gains.

Key Contacts

John Kang

Executive Director & Partner

John is a founding member and Executive Director of Praxis Capital Partners. Prior to Praxis, John was a Senior Associate at Kamur Partners, an Associate at SBI Private Equity and a Senior Analyst at Cordia Global. John holds a BS from KAIST and a MBA from University of Chicago. john.kang@praxiscp.com


Jong Woo Won

Executive Director

Jong Woo is an Executive Director of Praxis Capital Partners. Prior to Praxis, Jong Woo was an Alternative Director at Macquarie Capital. Prior to that, he was with the Korean Prosecution Service, where he served as a Public Prosecutor for 10 years. Jong Woo holds a LL.B from Seoul National University and a LL.M from New York University. jwwon@praxiscp.com


Chanmin Park

Associate

Chanmin is an Associate of Praxis Capital Partners. Prior to Praxis, Chanmin was an Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Chanmin received a BA from Seoul National University. cmpark@praxiscp.com

Media Reports

Praxis Capital wraps up a successful year (thebell,  Dec 20, 2019)