South Korea’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. has joined the bidding battle to take over ADT Caps Co., the country’s second-largest security services provider with an estimated sale value of around 3 trillion won ($2.8 billion).
SK Telecom in consortium with Australia’s financial services provider Macquarie has submitted a non-binding bid to ADT Caps sale advisor Morgan Stanley, according to industry sources on Tuesday. ADT Caps’s full stake has been placed up for sale late last year by U.S.-based private equity fund Carlyle Group that bought the security services provider at $1.93 billion in 2014.
Market experts estimate the sale price to reach up to 3 trillion won.
An SK Telecom official confirmed that the company is mulling buying ADT Caps but is yet to make a definite decision. The company reportedly is seeking to acquire ADT Caps to boost its securities service capability through integration with its telecom technology.
SK Telecom appears to be one of the strong contenders with over 2.2 trillion won in its cash hoard. If it is confirmed to have submitted a bid for ADT Caps, it would be its second attempt to buy the security services company. It took part in the buyout race over ADT Caps in 2013 but it later withdrew the deal to settle for No.4 security services firm Neo S Networks Co. instead.
The ADT Caps deal already has drawn multiple contenders including a consortium led by U.K.-based CVC Capital Partners. Macquarie has been considered another leading contender, but it opted to form a consortium with SK Telecom.
Established in 1971, ADT Caps is Korea’s second largest security company following S-1 Corp., a comprehensive security solution unit of Samsung Group. The firm registered 135.8 billion won in operating income on revenue of 693.3 billion won for full 2016.
Shares of SK Telecom closed Wednesday down 1.06 percent at 232,500 won apiece. ADT Caps is unlisted.
By Seo Dong-cheol and Cho Jeehyun
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