Global Sae-A Group is interested in buying Taihan Electric Wire as part of a move to expand its business beyond clothes manufacturing in search of growth opportunities.

The South Korean company recently issued a request for proposals seeking an advisory firm to prepare a bid for Taihan Electric Wire, the country’s second largest cable manufacturer, which is owned by IMM Private Equity (IMM PE), sources said.

It comes after Sae-A Trading, a key subsidiary of Global Sae-A, acquired fiberboard maker Tailim Packaging and its subsidiary Tailim Paper for 730 billion won ($660.5 million) from IMM PE in January last year, outbidding China’s Shanying Paper and large private equity firms Bain Capital and TPG.

The acquisition was seen as an effort by Global Sae-A to diversify its business away from original equipment manufacturing (OEM) of apparel. The company reportedly intended to create synergy by building packaging production facilities in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, where its OEM plants are located.

Global Sae-A also owns a subsidiary, Sae-A STX Entech, which was established after it purchased STX Heavy Industries’ power plant manufacturing business in 2018. The company’s expansion through mergers and acquisitions in different sectors has resulted in its shift to a holding company.

“Since its acquisition of Tailim Packaging, Global Sae-A has continued to be interested in potential candidates for sale in other industries,” said an industry insider. “It seems to want to boost synergy with its existing operations abroad by acquiring Taihan Electric Wire, which has a strong position in overseas markets.”

IMM PE started to receive indicative offers earlier this month and is being flexible with the deadline so as to allow more potential buyers to compete. Global Sae-A is expected to take its time before submitting an offer, industry watchers said.

“Global Sae-A had made a belated bid for Tailim Packaging,” said an official at a PE firm in Seoul. “Given the company’s large cash pile, its participation in the bidding would increase the chances of a successful sale.” (Reporting by Ik-hwan Choi)