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Anchor Equity likely to accelerate exit of Metanet Mplatform After additional stake purchase, PE firm now has full control of call center outsourcing firm

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-11-26 08:21:20

이 기사는 2021년 11월 26일 08:19 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Metanet Mplatform is likely to be Anchor Equity Partners’ next portfolio company to be brought to market after the private equity firm’s successful exits over the last three years, including wholesale drug distributor Geo-Young and health supplement company Health Balance in 2019, and most recently coffeehouse chain A Twosome Place.

Anchor Equity has recently acquired the entire stake held by Choi Young-sang, Metanet’s chairman and chief executive, to take full control of the company, although financial details were not disclosed. As of the end of 2020, Metanet Mplatform was 53.46% owned by Choi and 43.60% owned by the private equity firm.

The additional stake purchase comes after several unsuccessful attempts by Anchor Equity to exit its investment in the South Korean call center outsourcing company in recent years.

In 2017 Anchor Equity sounded out potential investors with Samjong KPMG as sale adviser but failed to find a buyer. In the following year, another sale attempt was made, with Citigroup Global Markets Securities running an auction. Five or six potential buyers expressed interest in the company, but the sale process was eventually called off.

In 2019 Metanet Mplatform hired Mirae Asset Securities to go public. But it ultimately pulled its initial public offering in the following year amid tepid interest from investors.

After the IPO plan collapsed, Anchor Equity last year entered into private negotiations with foreign potential buyers about the sale, although no deal was agreed. Choi and Anchor Equity, the first and second largest shareholders in the company, disagreeing on specifics of the potential sale was named as one of the reasons that the negotiations bore no fruit at the time.

Now owning the almost entirety of Metanet Mplatform, Anchor Equity is likely to actively explore options to exit the company, possibly next year, industry watchers said.

Metanet Mplatform, formerly Metanet MCC, was the first investment by Anchor Equity, which was founded in 2012 by Sanggyun Ahn, the private equity firm’s managing partner, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs.

Anchor Equity acquired 45% of Metanet MCC for about 53 billion won ($44.5 million) in 2012. Four years later it cashed in its entire stake to invest in the holding company Metanet, which counted Metanet MCC and direct mail service provider Billpost among its subsidiaries.

Anchor Equity’s reinvestment was reportedly aimed at benefiting from the strong growth potential of Billpost. The holding company was merged into Metanet MCC in 2018, and the combined entity changed its name to Metanet Mplatform in the following year.

Metanet Mplatform have grown through several bolt-on acquisitions over the past decade, which also helped to diversify the company’s business.

Its revenue increased to 360 billion won in 2019 from 290 billion won in 2017. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew from 29.9 billion won to 36.5 billion won in the same period. Last year’s revenue and EBTIDA slightly declined to 349 billion won and 29.6 billion won year-on-year, respectively. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)
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