South Korea’s venture capital IGIS Investment Partners is in the final stage of the process to acquire local meat wholesaler OK Meat Inc. as part of its aggressive push to add cold chain logistics to its portfolio.
According to investment banking industry sources on Wednesday, IGIS Investment Partners has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with OK Meat and is conducting due diligence before signing on a formal agreement to acquire the company.
IGIS is seeking to purchase a 77.83 percent stake owned by OK Meat’s founder Hong Seung-soo at approximately 120 billion won ($102.5 million). The deal’s lead underwriter is Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Founded in 2000, OK Meat is a major imported meat wholesale and retail company in Korea. The company owns a comprehensive one-stop value chain that imports, processes and distributes refrigerated and frozen meat from Australia and the U.S. It ranks third to fourth in the Korean meat import market share and has a solid customer base of major local retailers including Emart, Lotte Shopping and GS Retail.
OK Meat raised 380 billion won in sales in 2020, more than doubling from 150 billion won in 2010. Its operating income came to 17.4 billion won on net profit of 12.3 billion won.
Many investors are interested in the meat wholesale and retail market due to its high entry barriers and OK Meat is particularly more appealing as it owns processing capabilities through its subsidiary Chefs Partner.
IGIS Investment Partners under Korea’s leading real estate investment company IGIS Asset Management has been aggressively exploring alternative investment opportunities since last year with focus on mobility, logistics and prop tech referring to the application of technology to real estate markets.
In April, it invested 5 billion won in local cold chain logistics company Team Fresh in April and has recently set up a parking services joint venture with Kakao Mobility, transportation services unit of the country’s dominant chat app operator Kakao Corp.
By Kang In-seon and Lee Soo-min
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