MBK Partners seeks $4bn for fourth fund

The Seoul-based firm has started pre-marketing its latest fund, with plans to launch after June this year.

North Asia focused private equity firm MBK Partners will seek up to $4 billion for its fourth fund in the second half of 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The fund will have the same mandate as MBK’s previous funds, focusing on buyouts in the financial services, technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), healthcare and retail sectors in China, Japan and South Korea.

In October 2013, MBK closed its third buyout fund MBK Partners III on its $2.7 billion hard-cap after just one year in market. Investors in the fund include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, National Pension Service of Korea, Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois and Asia Alternatives, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

MBK participated in the largest transaction in Korea and the largest buyout in the Asia-Pacific region in 2015 when the firm, together with CPPIB, Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Temasek Holdings, acquired Tesco’s South Korean unit Homeplus for $6.3 billion.

In November last year, MBK and Goldman Sachs sold a 51 per cent stake in Japanese theme park Universal Studio Japan to ComCast’s NBC Universal, raising the company’s value to about $6 billion.

In June the firm invested in China-based logistics company Apex International Corporation, and shortly after sold Taiwan-based cable TV provider China Network Systems to Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia and Far Eastone Telecommunications for $2.3 billion, marking a profitable exit for the firm. 

MBK manages over $10 billion across four funds in its Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong offices. It was founded by Michael Kim, former president of Carlyle Asia Partners.

MBK declined to comment.