Korea Development Bank (KDB) has unveiled the list of PE and VC firms that applied for roles as an external manager in an investment program. Around 50 firms are expected to compete to receive nearly 900 billion won through the investment program, many of which have applied for the role more than twice.
The state-run KDB has unveiled on March 9 the list of 49 PE and VC firms that submitted applications for roles as an external manager in an investment program. It is split into five leagues based on a target’s growth stage.
Three leagues that PE firms mostly apply for, including mid-size, general scale-up growth and rookie, have drawn a total of 29 firms. Among them, 11 firms are those who already have applied for the role in the KDB’s previous investment program. For the general scale-up league, eight firms out of 15 have applied for the role before. For the rookie league, three firms out of 11 have already tried to get the role.
There also are many firms that have attempted to receive funding more than once. Lindeman Asia Investment Corporation, LK Investment Partners, Eum Private Equity, Keystone Private Equity have applied for the role for the general scale-up league more than once while Noh& Partners, ST Leaders Private Equity and JC Partners have applied for the role for the rookie league more than once.
The general scale-up growth league will allocate 120 billion won to 250 billion won to three to five firms. The league has been changed from the last year’s growth-cap league.
Among applicants, Keystone PE applied for the role three times before – twice in 2018 and once in 2019. The PE firm didn’t pass document screening for the two attempts in 2018. In 2019, Keystone PE formed a consortium with Acuon Capital and promised to commit around 50 billion won to a fund. Keystone PE was shortlisted but failed to be chosen as the external manager. Market watchers are paying attention whether the firm’s fourth attempt will bear fruit as it moved its headquarters last year and expanded its workforce.
Eum PE attempted to be an external manager for the growth-cap league in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the firm formed a consortium with KRN Partners but didn’t pass the document screening. In the following year, the firm applied for the position by itself and was shortlisted but failed to receive funding. What is notable is whether the PE firm’s efforts to diversify its portfolio will appeal to the state-run bank.
Lindeman Asia Investment Corporation applied for the role for the growth-cap league in 2018 and for the mid-cap league in 2019. The firm passed document screening for both attempts.
LK Investment Partners applied for the growth-cap league in 2018, but failed to receive a mandate. The firm is trying to form a blind-pool fund for the first time as it has mainly created project funds so far.
For the rookie league, the KDB will allocate a total of 30 billion to four firms. Noh& Partners and ST Leaders PE applied for the rookie league in 2018 and passed the document screening but failed to receive funding. JC Partners applied for the growth-cap league in 2018 and has decided to apply for the rookie league this time. (By reporter Han Hee-yeon)