Seoul-based IMM Private Equity has agreed to buy a 100 percent stake in Linde Korea for roughly 1.3 trillion won (US$1.15 billion), according to industry sources on March 8.
A Linde Korea's production facility in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province.
Macquarie, IMM shortlisted for acquiring Linde Korea
Under a sale and purchase agreement between IMM PE and Linde Korea, IMM PE will take over production facilities in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province; Giheung, Gyeonggi Province; and Pohang, South Gyeongsang Province.
The Pohang-headquartered firm is dedicated to the bulk supply of industrial gas products to companies, such as Hanwha Total Petrochemical and Seetec, a petrochemical firm owned equally by chemical units of Lotte and LG.
IMM PE will complete the transaction by April, according to the sources.
In January, IMM PE and Macquarie Korea Opportunities Management were shortlisted in the bidding process, managed by Deutsche Bank. Macquarie is reported to have bid 1.2 trillion won for the deal.
The Korean unit of German industrial gas giant The Linde Group has been put up for sale as the group had sought to carry out corrective action ordered by the antitrust body here, citing market monopoly after the group merged with US rival Praxair. The Fair Trade Commission had called on the group to sell off Korean assets affiliated to either Linde or Praxair.
Linde Korea is the fifth-largest industrial gas producer here by revenue. In 2017, it recorded revenue of 312.4 billion won, up 16.1 percent on-year. Its operating profit also jumped 21.8 percent on-year to 44.7 billion won in 2017. Its capital came to 178.6 billion won as of 2017.
Founded in 2006, IMM Private Equity is devoted to growth capital, mezzanine and buyout investments. It has US$2.7 billion assets under management and 19 portfolio companies, including coffee franchise operator Hollys F&B, cosmetic brand Missha operator Able C&C, packaging firm Tailim Packaging Group and marine transportation service firm Hyundai LNG Shipping.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)