Private equity firm Keistone Partners has recently bought Seyoung Food’s 27% stake in C&S Corporation for about 10 billion won ($8.4 million), industry sources said on August 31.

Keistone Partners and catering company Seyoung Food jointly acquired 70% of the company for 23 billion won in 2018, and Keistone Partners later injected an additional 7 billion won. However, Seyoung Food decided to divest its shareholding due to liquidity issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Founded in 1980, C&S Corporation provides facility management services to customers encompassing large hospitals, public institutions, universities and golf clubs. With the transaction completed, Keistone Partners’ stake in the company has been increased to 86%.

C&S Corporation became the first among peers to list its shares on KOSDAQ in 1997 but was delisted in 2018 after it filed for bankruptcy protection. It achieved a turnaround in 2019 with an operating income of 1.3 billion won on the back of a restructuring. However, the company posted an operating loss of 1.6 billion won again in the first half of 2020 partly because of the pandemic.

Keistone Partners plans to inject an additional 10 billion won into C&S Corporation to further improve the company’s financial position. This will reduce the company’s debt ratio to less than 150% from 239% at the end of June.

“The improved financial position would help C&S Corporation regain trust from its customers,” an analyst said. “This, combined with a potential recovery from the pandemic, could lead to continued growth in revenue and help the company return to its former strength.” (Reporting by Se-hun Jo)