GS Group, IMM Investment to jointly bid for Hugel Korean conglomerate emerging as frontrunner to acquire botox maker

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-08-11 08:02:55

이 기사는 2021년 08월 11일 08:01 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korean conglomerate GS Group has teamed up with private equity firm IMM Investment to jointly bid for Bain Capital-owned botox maker Hugel, industry sources said on Monday.

The US buyout firm and BoA-Merrill Lynch, which is managing the sale process, are in talks separately with potential buyers seeking to acquire a controlling stake in Hugel. Among them are a consortium of GS Group and IMM Investment, Chinese strategic investors and private equity firms, according to sources.

The GS consortium is viewed as the strongest candidate to win the race. In contrast with Shinsegae Group which withdrew from the deal last month, GS Group has opted to join forces with IMM Investment which will lead the consortium. This indicates the conglomerate’s strong interest in the pharmaceutical company, industry watchers said.

“The GS-IMM Investment consortium is emerging as the frontrunner to acquire Hugel,” an industry insider said. “It is unlikely that the seller will select a Chinese firm as the preferred buyer for several reasons.”

The South Korean pharmaceutical company is selling through a limited auction process. Another industry insider said, “Who will win the race remains to be seen because all bidders in the race have strong desire to acquire the company.”

The sale method was changed from a private sale to a limited auction as the stake sale attracted interest from many domestic and overseas investors. Bain reportedly intends to skip the preliminary round of bidding and receive binding offers from a select group of potential buyers.

Founded in 2001, Hugel is the country’s largest player in the market for botulinum toxin products by market share. The company went public on Kosdaq in 2015 and has since grown rapidly. Its consolidated revenue increased to a record of 211 billion won ($183.8 million) in 2020, compared to 182 billion won in 2017. Full-year 2021 revenue is projected to surpass 270 billion won.

Bain acquired a 44.4% stake in Hugel in 2017 for about 927.5 billion won. Bain’s holding in the botox maker is estimated to be worth about 2 trillion won including a control premium. (Reporting by Ha-na Suh)
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