Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) is looking for a new buyer for its South Korean parcel delivery company, Logen Co Ltd, because prospective suitor Well to Sea Investment was unable to raise enough funding to finance the deal.
Industry sources said on Tuesday (September 15) that BPEA, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, had ended exclusive talks with Well to Sea Investment. It had been expected that a deal would be signed by this month.
BPEA entered into negotiations with Well to Sea Investment three months ago, and the two sides reportedly reached an agreement on the price – which is considered the biggest obstacle – raising hopes that the private equity firm might finally be able to realize its plans to exit the company.
South Korean-based Well to Sea Investment has no active blind-pool vehicle, so it had to raise a project fund to finance the planned transaction. However, few institutional investors were interested because of concerns on its limited exit options, industry watchers said, with some reportedly telling the firm that they would not take part unless it provided a reliable exit route through a partnership with a strategic investor.
BPEA appears to be in no hurry to dispose of Logen, because it has already earned more than its original investment through several recapitalization transactions. The private equity firm made distributions of about 100 billion won ($85 million) to investors through its most recent recapitalization, completed in June. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)