The acquisition of Juvis by private equity firm STIC Investments is set to be completed five months after it was up for sale.
STIC signed a deal to buy a 100% stake in the South Korean weight loss company owned by founder and chief executive Cho Seong-kyung and specially related persons for 242 billion won ($204 million) in mid-August. About 120 billion won of the acquisition cost will be financed from STIC’s second special situations fund, with the remainder to be funded in loans, industry sources said.
Cho is said to agree to repurchase a fraction of the interest in the company although she will no longer serve in the chief executive role. This is seen as a strategy by STIC to retain support from the previous owner after the acquisition. The transaction is expected be completed shortly after the loans, which are being arranged by Woori Bank and Korea Investment & Securities, are made.
The deal is said to have included non-complete provisions to prevent senior managers including Cho from starting new businesses in similar sectors to the company for a certain period of time. Therefore, Cho, who is expected to earn nearly 200 billion won from the sale of her shareholding, will likely turn her attention to other areas of investment such as real estate as an individual investor, industry watchers said.
That was the case for Kim So-hee, founder and former chief executive of make-up and fashion company Stylenanda, which was acquired by French cosmetics giant L’Oreal for 600 billion won in 2018. Kim has been drawing attention with her purchases of commercial and residential real estate properties in Seoul over the last two years.
Cho is also expected to use the money earned from the sale to invest in real estate in key locations in the country. She owns a building called Juvis Tower, which is in one of the central business districts in Seoul and generates rental income of more than 1 billion won per year from its tenants including Juvis. (Reporting by Ik-hwan Choi)