Two global private equity fund giants, Carlyle and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), have joined the bid to acquire Woori F&I.
According to sources of financial industry on September 6, Carlyle and KKR signed confidentiality agreements with Citigroup Global Markets and Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers, the leading managers for selling Woori F&I, a financial subsidiary of Woori Financial Group. Another foreign private equity fund Macquarie Korea Opportunities Management also is known to weigh taking over the local financial firm.
Meanwhile, local private equity funds including Vogo Fund, STIC Investments, IMM Private Equity and T-Stone are also showing willingness to acquire the financial firm that has now become a sought-after firm. In addition to previous bidders such as Meritz Financial Group, Shinhan Financial Group and KB Financial Group, now DGB Financial Group, JB Financial Group, Asset Securities and some other large securities have joined the list.
Woori F&I has consistently generated annual average net profit worth of around 60 billion won (US$56 million), with 32.2 billion won (US$30.1 million) in operating profit in the first half of this year. Last year’s operating profit amounted to 58.4 billion won (US$54.5 million) and 58.1 billion won (US$54.2 million) in the prior year.