VIG nets over 2x on lens manufacturer exit

Seoul-based Samyang Optics saw increased revenues and a nearly two-fold boost in EBITDA under VIG Partners, through a change in strategy and streamlining of its operations

Seoul-based market firm VIG Partners has sold a 40 percent stake in lens manufacturer Samyang Optics for KRW 66.8 billion ($60 million; €53 million) through an initial public offering on the Korea Stock Exchange.

VIG sold 4 million shares at KRW16,700 per share, representing a market capitalisation of KRW 167 billion, the firm said in a statement.

Through the IPO proceeds and dividend recaps, the firm has realised over 2x on its investment. VIG will continue to own a 60 percent controlling interest in the company.

The Seoul-based firm bought the optical equipment, CCTV lenses and photography equipment manufacturer in 2013 for KRW 68 billion from its second buyout vehicle, the 2012-vintage Vogo Fund II that closed on $350 million and is almost fully invested.

In the last four years, VIG has refocused the company and boosted its interchangeable camera lens business, installed a new management team, revamped distribution networks and expanded its product lines, which led to Samyang introducing its first auto-focus lenses in 2016, according to a company statement.

Following the change in strategy and streamlining of operations, Samyang posted a revenue of KRW 62.8 billion in 2016 from KRW54.1 billion in 2013. EBITDA increased from KRW 12.4 billion to KRW 21.5 billion over the same period.

VIG has over $2 billion in assets under management. In February this year, the firm held a $600 million final close on its third buyout vehicle, exceeding its $500 million original target. The firm has completed two deals from Fund IIII, investing KRW 110 billion in used car retailer Autoplus in April 2017 and over $50 million in funeral services provider Joun Life in November 2016.