Four investors have submitted non-binding offers for South Korean cable maker Taihan Electric Wire, with owner IMM Private Equity (IMM PE) accepting late offers.
The bidders include Hoban Construction, Global Sae-A and U.S.-based private equity firm Bain Capital. They have started a preliminary due diligence process after getting access to a virtual data room.
IMM PE has said it will continue to accept offers from other potential buyers in the coming weeks as some foreign investors that initially showed interest in the deal have yet to decide whether to submit bids.
Hoban Construction and Global Sae-A were considered potential buyers when Taihan Electric Wire was first put on the market in 2014, but neither submitted an offer. They now seem more serious about buying the company, industry watchers said.
Bain Capital is understood to be the only financial investor among the four bidders. Some observers are skeptical that a foreign investor will be able to acquire the company, as its core technologies include ultra-high voltage cables.
However, a takeover by a foreign buyer is not legally impossible, because it does not require approval from regulatory authorities. Bain Capital may still want to team up with a South Korean strategic investor, industry watchers said.
IMM PE bought 75.49% of the cable maker for about 300 billion won ($270 million) in 2015 and has reduced its stake to 50% in four block transactions over the last two years. Shares held by creditors could be included in the sale if a potential buyer is willing to purchase them. Credit Suisse is managing the sale process.
Taihan Electric Wire’s market capitalization is around 1 trillion won. The 50% stake is expected to be worth as much as 700 billion won, including a control premium.
The company’s revenue rose 3.8% year-on-year to 1.44 trillion won in 2020 thanks to an increase in orders from overseas customers. Operating income jumped 99% to 51.5 billion won, the highest in 11 years. (Reporting by Si-eun Park)