Osstem Implant (Yonhap)
Private equity funds Unison Capital Korea and MBK Partners have joined hands to take over Osstem Implant, the nation’s largest dental manufacturer, according to the companies on Wednesday.
Osstem Implant announced that UCK and MBK Partners will go for a tender offer through special purpose company Dentistry Investment, buying off a sizeable stake in the company for the next month at 190,000 won ($154) per share, up almost 17 percent from 162,500 won from the previous trading day.
UCK is a major private equity player here backed by its Japanese head office that is best known for acquiring a 70 percent stake in Taiwanese milk tea franchise Gong Cha Korea in 2014. It joined hands with local private equity giant MBK Partners and NH Securities as a financing partner under the name UCK Consortium.
If the tender offer proceeds as planned, UCK Consortium will become the largest shareholder of Osstem Implant, followed by the company’s Chairman Choi Kyu-ok, who will hold a 9.6 percent stake and Korea Corporate Governance Improvement, the third-largest shareholder with a 6.57 percent stake.
The KCGI welcomed the move, seeing the tender offer as a chance to improve the corporate governance of the dental giant.
"Private equity fund giants MBK Partners and Unison Capital investing in Osstem Implant means that they see the value of the company,” KCGI said through a statement, calling on the firms to cooperate in rebuilding Osstem Implant's reputation.
Osstem Implant, the country's largest dental implants manufacturer, has been embroiled in controversy over the past few years for an embezzlement scandal involving 221.5 billion won ($179 million). The figure is the largest amount ever embezzled from a company listed on the Korean bourse.
Though the Korea Exchange, the country’s sole bourse operator, did not pull the company off the listing, its share price has continued to fall, threatened by more hiccups involving erroneous business reports and a recall order from China.
Following news of the takeover, Osstem Implant’s share price closed at 186,300 won. It even went up to 188,000 won, a record high for the firm since it was listed in 2007.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org)