LB Private Equity (LB PE) has formed a 120 billion won ($97.2 million) blind-pool fund, signaling active investment activities.

When LB PE’s secondary fund investment period ended in April it closed its new blind-pool fund with approximately 120 billion won in commitments. The new blind-pool fund is expected to continue a secondary investment strategy.

LB PE has started raising money for the new fund after it was selected as an external manager of a growth-cap league in an investment program led by Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Korea Growth Investment Corp (K-Growth). It took almost a year for the firm to close the fund. The PE firm has secured approximately 40 billion won from KDB and the remaining amount from capital firms, securities firms and The Pension Foundation of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Korea.

The new fund is meaningful in that it is the first fund formed by LB PE after it separated from LB Investment two years ago. The existing secondary fund was formed in July 2017 when the PE firm was under LB Investment’s umbrella.

After receiving a lukewarm response from investors, the PE firm lowered the fundraising target from the initial 170 billion won.

The new fund plans to invest in Viva Republica’s planned acquisition of LG Uplus’ payment gateway business although the amount is subject to change.

LB PE previously invested in companies including Big Hit Entertainment, EcoPro BM, shoes retailer SMK T&I and car-sharing app operator SoCar via its secondary blind-pool fund. The PE firm also made a buyout investment in Dukeun Interline Refinery.

LB PE has exited two of the five companies in the fund’s portfolio – Big Hit Entertainment and EcoPro BM – earning multiples of three times and two-and-a-half times respectively. It is also in the process of selling Ohjin Corporation, a restaurant kitchen equipment supplier. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)