Korean e-commerce platform TMON near raising pre-IPO funding of $278 mn

2021.02.16 15:41:48 | 2021.02.16 15:42:22

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TMON Inc., e-commerce player, will wind up rounding up pre-IPO investors of 305 billion won ($277.55 million) this week to bolster its capital base before it goes up public later this year.

According to multiple industry sources from the investment banking industry on Monday, PS Alliance, a private equity fund under Korea’s Poongsung Group, has decided to create a project fund to purchase 305 billion won in TMON bonds convertible to equity. Other venture capital firms took part as investors. Its existing shareholders KKR & Co. and Anchor Equity Partners put up an additional 80 billion won.

The investment is the last stage in the e-commerce platform’s pre-IPO funding which has been underway since the second half of last year.

An unnamed industry official said a number of institutions including PS Alliance’s holding company Poongsung Group pledged investments. Korea’s second largest institutional investor Korean Teachers’ Credit Union (KTCU) did not join despite earlier speculation.

The exchangeable bonds to be purchased by the fund can be cashed in upon three-year maturity or exchanged to common shares after TMON becomes listed. The investors have the right to demand shares’ listing.

The new funding is expected to aid its financial statement.

The company suffered losses in recent years, overwhelming capital by 550.6 billion won as of 2019.

TMON aims to go public later this year but exactly when the IPO will actually take place is uncertain, given its fragile financial status.

Its PEF owners had attempted to sell the company to retailers like Lotte and Shinsegae but opted for an IPO after sales fell through. Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities was tapped as the lead manager in April last year.

By Kang Woo-seok and Lee Soo-min

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