MBK Partners Eyes $6 Billion Buyout Fund

Will the National Pension Service (NPS) Return to the South Korean PE Shop?

MBK Partners aims to raise up to $6 billion for a new buyout fund. The firm – operated by ex-Carlyle Group executives – could reach its first close by the end of the month, according to Reuters. The question is whether the National Pension Service will commit capital after it skipped MBK Partners’ fourth fund.

This would be the company’s fifth fund. It would aim to purchase firms in consumer goods, technology, and financial services. The Asia-specific funds would seek opportunities in China, Japan, and South Korea.

MBK Partners and The Firm’s Fifth Fund

Reuters reports that the 14-year old investment company has explored fundraising in a range of $5 billion to $6 billion. The dollar-denominated fund will focus on companies “underpinned by domestic consumption growth.”

The firm launched in Seoul, South Korea in 2005. Several Carlyle Group Asia executives founded the firm. The company’s fourth fund “MBK Partners IV” closed in late 2016 with $4.1 billion. That figure topped the fund’s target of $3.5 billion.

MBK Partners IV has invested in a variety of companies since inception. Its portfolio currently includes Dausung Industrial Glass, eHi Car Services, and Godiva Japan. In September 2019, it jumped into Wendu Education Group. This company is the largest National Graduate Entrance Examination tutoring firm in China. It operates in 32 Chinese provinces and educates more than 132,000 students each year.

The fund initially attracted about $7 billion from investors including Canada’s CPPIB and Singapore’s GIC. Interestingly, South Korea’s National Pension Scheme did not take part in the fourth fund.

At the time, the world’s third-largest pension group was disputing with MBK over investment losses tied to D’Live Co. The pension fund had taken part in the previous three funds at MBK Partners.

Related: Carlyle Group Reports Third Quarter Earnings


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