INVESTMENT BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Korea

Woori sale fails on lack of bidders

The sale of Woori Finance Holdings Co. for a minimum of 30% stake fell through again as it attracted only one investor.


MBK Partners Ltd., a homegrown private equity fund, was the sole bidder.

Two other private equity funds submitted letters of intent, TStone Corp. and Vogo Investment, did not take part in the preliminary bidding that closed at 5 p.m. This was revealed by the Korea Deposit Insurance Corp, a state deposit insurer which handles the sale.

The government had said the Woori sale would be valid only if two or more prospective buyers submitted bids.

The Financial Services Commission will hold a meeting on August 19 to determine whether to proceed with a final bidding.

MBK Partners has created a consortium with local lender Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives and is also known to have teamed up with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and regional lender BS Financial Group Inc.

"MBK Partners prepared for the bid in an earnest and flawless manner. We hope to contribute to the development of the local financial market," said Yoon Jong-ha, head of the MBK Partners.

Vogo Investment decided not to take part due to a change in its financial investors and low chances of an acquisition while TStone Corp. decided not to submit a bid due to controversy over the Woori Finance sale and the recent sharp fall in Woori Finance's share prices.

The full sotry is available at Yonhap News.

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