Korea’s SkyLake in $67m secondary buyout

The country fund joins UK-listed strategic Laird to acquire Seoul-based prototype maker Model Solution.

Korean private equity firm SkyLake Investment and global technology company Laird have acquired 100 percent of Model Solution in a deal worth KRW 70 billion ($67 million; €49 million), according to a joint statement.

SkyLake and Laird are buying the business from Kamur Private Equity and will own 49 percent and 51 percent respectively following the transaction.

Model Solution is a South Korean company specialising in designing and manufacturing prototypes with expertise in injection moulding, finishing, UV coating and 3D printing. It serves customers in consumer electronics, audiovisual products and medical devices sectors, complementary to Laird’s existing design and manufacturing capabilities, according to the firms.

While Laird will have operating control of the business, SkyLake will help develop strategic business relationships in the local market, with SkyLake founder and chairman Daeje Chin taking the role of chairman of Model Solutions.

Chin previously held senior positions at Samsung Electronics and has been a minister in the Ministry of Information and Communication for the South Korean government.

Korea is becoming an increasingly attractive market for private equity, but the market is generally dominated by local players.

Last year, Affinity Equity Partners and MBK Partners – Seoul-based pan-regional funds with a strong Korea focus – both had blockbuster fundraises, collecting $3.8 billion and $2.7 billion respectively, Private Equity International reported earlier.

MBK was also the buyer in Korea’s largest deal last year – a €1.27 billion purchase of ING Korea Life Insurance following a restructuring of its Netherlands-based parent ING Group.