Auctions involving a number of South Korean companies, including CJ Olive Young, JobKorea and Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction, are attracting close scrutiny.
The final round of bidding for a minority stake in Olive Young, part of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, takes place today (December 16), with strong interest from private equity (PE) firms. Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area, STIC Investments, Glenwood Private Equity, JKL Partners and IMM Private Equity are all included in the shortlist.
Industry watchers said the cosmetics retailer’s 70% market share and expansion of its online business, which could provide additional growth opportunities, have drawn investors. CJ Group is expected to focus on both bid prices and deal structures proposed by bidders.
Meanwhile, more than 10 bids were received for H&Q-owned online recruiting company JobKorea during the first round of its auction on Monday (December 14). PE firm H&Q launched the sale in February when it hired Morgan Stanley as an adviser, but the Covid-19 pandemic slowed the process. Shortlisted bidders will be notified by the end of this month, with final bids expected early next year.
Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction, currently controlled by its main creditor Korea Development Bank (KDB), received final offers on Monday from three bidders: a consortium of Keistone Partners and Korea Development Bank Investment, a consortium led by Dongbu Corporation and SM Line Corp. A combined 83.45% stake in the company held by domestic and Filipino banks is up for sale. Creditors led by KDB are expected to announce a preferred bidder soon.
Kumho Asiana Group revealed a shortlist of five bidders on Monday for its leisure unit, Kumho Resort, including Kumho Petrochemical, Hoban Construction and Dong Yang Construction. The shortlisted bidders will start due diligence soon. NH Investment & Securities and Deloitte Anjin are running the auction process.
Doosan Group is in exclusive talks with a consortium of Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings and Korea Development Bank Investment for the sale of Doosan Infracore, after it was named a preferred bidder last week. The aim is to reach an agreement by the end of this month. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)