K-Growth restructuring fund will tap into new sectors

Korea Growth Investment Corp (K-Growth) is expected to expand its corporate restructuring fund’s portfolio to include assets in sectors beyond traditional manufacturing.

In January the fund of funds put 40 billion won ($35.3 million) into investment firm PS Alliance’s fund, which invested in ecommerce platform Tmon, according to industry sources.

The move came as a surprise to some because the corporate restructuring fund so far has been focusing on traditional industries such as auto parts and engineering. However, it is now looking for investment opportunities in more diverse areas, as companies in a range of industries are trying to adapt to a rapidly changing world by restructuring their businesses.

Tmon will use the proceeds to improve its balance sheet and increase liquidity. Founded in 2010 as a social commerce platform, the firm has seen a significant decrease in net losses over the past year due to its restructuring efforts, and is expected to turn profitable this year.

Government-funded Korea Growth’s investment in Tmon came from its second corporate restructuring fund, which was launched last year. The 500 billion won fund of funds invested 300 billion won in blind-pool funds, with the balance allocated to deal-by-deal investing.

Tmon is the third investment made on a deal-by-deal basis, after allocations to cable maker Metal Link and Doosan Group’s copper foil maker Doosan Solus through funds run by Seven Bridge Private Equity and SkyLake Equity Partners respectively.

Investments made by K-Growth’s first corporate restructure fund, which was terminated last year, were in firms that included automobile parts makers Seojin Industrial and Myung Shin Industry, rigging manufacturer Sunjin and Dongbu Steel. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)