STIC Investments is expected to choose the preferred buyer for Orion Technology this week, raising hopes the deal could be signed before the end of this year.

The private equity firm will select a company that will receive exclusive rights to negotiate for Orion Technology, industry sources said on Friday (November 6). It has been in talks with at least four potential buyers for the last three months, with all reportedly showing strong interest. The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed the process.

Deloitte Anjin is advising STIC Investments on the sale of the firm, which is expected to be valued at about 40 billion won.

STIC bought 15 billion won ($13.4 million) of convertible bonds issued by Orion Technology in 2013 and converted debt into equity two years later to become the largest shareholder in the company, with an 81.05% stake.

The firm showed a strong performance in 2019, with its revenue and operating income rising 28% and 85% year-on-year to 31 billion won and 3.7 billion won respectively.

Orion Technology is the only South Korean company that provides electronic components for engines on large ships. It exited its security monitors business and entered the industrial collaborative robots market in 2018, expanding its product portfolio to include robot controllers and teach pendants. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)