South Korea’s private equity (PE) firm STIC Investments Inc is expected to close its Special Situation Fund II (SSF II) soon, although it has failed to achieve its goal to increase the fund size to 1.5 trillion won ($1.25 billion) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

STIC Investments is expected to close its SSF II at 1.22 trillion won, according to sources on July 17. The fund held an initial closing at 1.21 trillion won in August 2019. STIC Investment planned to increase the fund size to 1.5 trillion won by securing additional 300 billion won from foreign investors after the initial closing, but the PE firm couldn’t contact foreign limited partners due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund has to have its final close by August.

STIC Investments invested its committed capital of its first SSF rapidly after its launch in April 2016. The PE firm invested 95% of its committed capital in five companies in just two and a half years since its close.

STIC Investments started raising capital for the SSF II with the PE firm selected as a manager for a large-cap blind-pool fund by the National Pension Service (NPS) in 2019. The PE firm was mandated to manage 400 billion won. STIC Investments was also picked as a manager by Teachers’ Pension, Public Officials Benefit Association and Military Mutual Aid Association, paving the way for the second SSF’s successful initial closing.

The PE firm has already invested about 30% of the SSF II’s committed capital, with its investments in parking lot operator Hi Parking and ILJIN Materials’ Malaysian subsidiary.

Through its first SSF, the PE firm invested in LIG Nex1, Hanwha S&C, Big Hit Entertainment and DoubleDown Interactive. Domestic anchor investors including the NPS and Korean Teachers’ Credit Union participated in the fund. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)