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Eugene PE invests in SoCar Malaysia The PE firm bought 14.85 million CPS for 17.7 billion won

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2020-02-04 08:00:00

이 기사는 2020년 02월 04일 08:00 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s Eugene Private Equity (PE) has invested in SoCar Malaysia, while views on the investment are mixed.

According to industry sources on January 29, Eugene PE purchased 14.85 million convertible preferred shares (CPS) that SoCar Malaysia Mobility Sdn. Bhd issued, via its project fund, Eugene Smart Mobility, for 17.7 billion won ($15 million).

Eugene PE has become the car-sharing platform SoCar Malaysia’s first financial investor. SoCar Malaysia, a joint venture between SK Holdings and SoCar, kicked off its business in the country in 2018 in SoCar’s first overseas expansion.

Malaysia has a high growth potential for the car-sharing industry as it is densely populated in the city centers, enabling car-sharing companies to accelerate the push to expand their presence in the Southeast Asian market.

However, some say that latecomers will face challenges amid Singapore-based ride-hailing giant Grab’s dominance of the Southeast Asian market. In 2018, U.S.-based ride-hailing company Uber sold its regional business to Grab. Grab’s cash payments and lower commission have enabled the company to increase its market share and acquire its rival Uber's Southeast Asian operations.

Conflicts between Malaysian taxi industry and ride-hailing companies are also headwinds. Malaysia’s ride-hailing companies are now strictly required to register with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and comply with a set of regulations. Drivers of ride-hailing companies, including SoCar, are subjected to the same regulations as taxis, especially for license registration, vehicle inspection and operational requirements.

It is said that Eugene PE initially planned to invest around 36 billion won ($30 million) in SoCar Malaysia, but halved the amount later due to several factors including the slow funding pace.

(By reporters Rho Arrum and Jo Se-hun)
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