Mirae Asset Daewoo and KB Securities, arrangers of acquisition financing for Affinity Equity Partners, are expected to benefit from the sale of JobKorea as the big ticket deal approaches the finish line.

H&Q, which is selling South Korea’s top online recruiting firm, has selected Affinity Equity Partners as the preferred bidder for JobKorea and is making final arrangements, industry sources said on Friday (March 5). Affinity Equity Partners reportedly valued the company at around 900 billion won ($790 million). As JobKorea is in a net cash position, the equity value amounts to a mid-950 billion won range.

The sale of JobKorea has drawn strong attention from market insiders as it marks the first buyout deal worth almost one trillion won in 2021, indicating that the mergers and acquisitions market is showing signs of recovery after the outbreak of Covid-19 last year.

Affinity Equity Partners, MBK Partners, CVC Capital and TPG participated in the final round of bidding from seven or eight shortlisted bidders for JobKorea, showing intense competition.

Given the large deal size, potential buyers had already drawn up their funding plans. Mirae Asset Daewoo and KB Securities will provide acquisition financing worth around 400 billion won to Affinity Equity Partners, as PE firms normally finance about half of an acquisition price through acquisition loans.

KKR’s purchase of a minority stake in Hyundai Global Service has been one of the few major deals that included a new acquisition financing deal so far this year.

Mirae Asset Daewoo and KB Securities jointly arranged Affinity Equity Partners’ recapitalization of Shinhan Financial Group last year, and Affinity Equity Partners invested 600 billion won in the banking group in September 2020. Mirae Asset Daewoo and KB Securities also jointly arranged 300 billion won of acquisition loans when the PE firm purchased Lock & Lock in 2017.

KB Securities jointly participated in a 400 billion won refinancing of ServeOne in November 2020 and it provided 125 billion won of acquisition financing, along with NongHyup Bank, when Affinity Equity Partners acquired a minority stake in Hyundai Card in 2017. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)