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Anchor Equity to make partial exit from KakaoBank The PE firm is working on $289 mil recapitalization of the internet-only bank

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-10-21 08:06:44

이 기사는 2021년 10월 21일 08:04 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Hong Kong-based private equity (PE) firm Anchor Equity Partners plans to make a partial exit from KakaoBank one year after its investment in the country’s internet-only lender.

Anchor Equity has decided to recapitalize KakaoBank and started its marketing campaign towards investors through Korea Investment & Securities, industry sources said on Tuesday.

The recapitalization is expected to be worth around 340 billion won ($289 million), which is larger than Anchor Equity’s investment in the internet-only bank. The PE firm is in discussions to set an interest rate for the recapitalization at around 3.5%.

Anchor Equity invested in KakaoBank in November 2020. The PE firm acquired 10.64 million shares of KakaoBank for 250 billion won, or 23,500 won per share, in a pre-initial public offering (IPO) placement, using its blind-pool fund.

KakaoBank’s stock price ended at 60,000 won on Friday, which means the value of Anchor Equity’s shares in KakaoBank has more than doubled to 640 billion won in just one year.

Anchor Equity valued the digital bank at 8.58 trillion won in 2020, compared to the bank’s current market capitalization of 29 trillion won. The PE firm seems to have decided to recapitalize the bank as it believes it is the right timing to make a partial exit, with the bank’s corporate value increasing to some extent.

Anchor Equity is one of the major PE firms that are accelerating exit activities in recent years. The PE firm sold South Korean wholesale drug distributor Geo-Young in 2019 and offloaded Health Balance and Eco Green Holdings last year. The PE firm is continuing its exit activities this year by putting Etoos Education and A Twosome Place up for sale.

Anchor Equity first invested in Kakao's affiliates by putting 125 billion won in mobile content provider Kakao Page, formerly known as Podotree, in 2016.

It also invested 210 billion won in Kakao M, which engages in music and entertainment services, in March 2020, followed by its 250 billion won investment in KakaoBank in November 2020.

Earlier this year, the PE firm invested 600 billion won in Kakao’s Japanese unit, Kakao Japan, along with foreign investors. Anchor Equity has made investments totaling over 1 trillion won in Kakao's affiliates over recent years. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)
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