Ripplewood gets green light on Daewoo deal

Daewoo Electronics’s creditors, who control the company, chose the New York-based private equity firm as the winning bidder. Ripplewood’s bid marks the third time Daewoo’s creditors have initiated a sale.

Creditors of struggling Korean home appliance maker Daewoo Electronics have chosen New York private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings as the winning bidder for the company.

Daewoo is owned by creditors, and its largest creditor, Woori Bank, said in a statement Wednesday that Ripplewood beat out a consortium of Diligant Systems and Russian investors. Woori did not provide financial details about the deal, but said the transaction should be complete by year’s end. 

Ripplewood’s offer, made earlier this month, came two months after Morgan Stanley Private Equity pulled out of a deal to buy the company for an undisclosed amount. The Ripplewood offer marked the third time Daewoo’s creditors have tried to sell the company, once part of the Korean conglomerate Daewoo Group, which went bankrupt in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis.

In late 2006, a partnership comprising Ripplewood’s holding company, RHJ International, and Indian electronics maker Videocon Industries, had been selected to buy Daewoo Electronics, but that deal failed to progress over disagreements in price. The deal was estimated to be in the range of $740 million.

Ripplewood is currently raising a US-focused fund targeting $4 billion. The firm invested $130 million in bankrupt Interstate Bakery in September, part of a $469 million funding commitment that will allow the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.