Potential buyers of water purifier rental firm Coway have been short-listed to SK Networks, a Haier-led consortium and US private equity firms Carlyle Group and Bain Capital, according to industry sources on Aug. 5.
Up for grabs is a stake of 25.08 percent in Coway, which market watchers have estimated at 2 trillion won ($1.65 billion).
SK Networks, Haier, Carlyle join bid to acquire Coway
South Korean trading company SK Networks owns SK Magic, which is No. 2 in the domestic water purifier rental market. Qingdao-based electronic devices maker Haier has teamed up with Lindeman Asia Investment.
The news came after seven contenders had submitted letters of interest for the stock purchase in its preliminary bidding round on July 31. The preferred bidder for the purchase is expected to be announced in September this year, following a monthlong due diligence.
Coway became an affiliate of Woongjin Thinkbig, the educational arm of Woongjin Group, after a 1.7 trillion-won stock purchase from Seoul-based MBK Partners in March. Coway stake has been up for sale since June.
Coway has amassed over half of the market share in the domestic water purifier rental market, trailed by SK Magic and Chungho Nais.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)