Anchor Equity Partners is in talks with a foreign investor about a sale of its stake in Metanet Mplatform, a South Korean business process outsourcing company, industry sources said on September 21.
The Seoul-based firm acquired about a 45% of the company – formerly known as Metanet MCC which mainly provides contact center outsourcing services – for 53 billion won ($45.5 million) in 2012. The deal marked the first acquisition by the firm, which was founded by Goldman Sachs alumnus Sanggyun Ahn in the same year.
In 2016 Anchor Equity Partners cashed out of its entire stake in Metanet MCC to invest in the company’s parent Metanet. The move was reportedly to broaden its exposure to other business areas of Metanet, including direct mail marketing solutions provided by the company’s another subsidiary Billpost.
Metanet MCC and Metanet merged in 2018 and the combined entity changed its name to Metanet Mplatform in 2019. Chairman Choi Young-sang and Anchor Equity Partners are the largest and second largest shareholders of the company at the end of 2019, with 53.46% and 43.6% equity stakes respectively.
During its partnership with Anchor Equity Partners, Metanet Mplatform has continued to expand through a series of acquisitions of smaller rivals and adjacent businesses.
The company has 12 subsidiaries across contact center and direct mail services segments, with most of them acquired for the last ten years. It also purchased 51% of data consulting company Encore in 2019, which it plans to use as a springboard to transform itself into a digital business platform company.
Revenue increased 11% year-on year to 360 billion won in 2019, while the company’s operating income was up 36% to 23.6 billion won. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization also grew to 36.5 billion won.
A successful deal with the prospect buyer would mark the end of attempts by the private equity firm to exit its eight-year investment. Anchor Equity Partners had tapped potential buyers for the company in 2017 and 2018 but no deals had been signed.
Metanet Mplatform had also hired Mirae Asset Daewoo last year to prepare for an initial public offering but eventually scrapped the plans earlier this year due to weaker-than-expected demand from institutional investors during the bookbuild process. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)