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PEFs

E-commerce platform TMON raises $276 mn in pre-IPO share sale

By Feb 19, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

E-commerce platform TMON raises 6 mn in pre-IPO share sale
South Korea’s e-commerce platform TMON Inc., majority-owned by KKR & Co. and Anchor Equity Partners, has completed its pre-IPO share sale to raise a combined 305 billion won ($276 million).

TMON, short for Ticket Monster, received 255 billion won in fresh funding from a consortium led by Seoul-based private equity firm PS Alliance, the online retailer said on Feb. 19. The consortium is investing through the purchase of bonds convertible into TMON shares to be issued by KKR and Anchor Equity Partners.

Both KKR and Anchor Equity injected an additional 50 billion won into TMON in aggregate.

The new capital will be used to cover the company's capital shortfall. The fundraising is part of TMON’s efforts to become the country’s first listed e-commerce platform this year. In 2017, it withdrew its IPO plan due to poor financial conditions. As a condition for the listing, the Korea Exchange had called on the loss-making retailer to bolster its negative capital base. 

Its IPO will likely lead to the exit of both KKR and Anchor Equity, which invested an undisclosed sum in TMON back in 2015. Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities Co. was hired as its IPO lead manager in April of last year.

PS Alliance was formed in 2012 as a wholly owned investment arm of South Korea’s Poongsung Group, an automotive and electronic parts maker. The Korean PEF is headed by Cho Young-min who had worked at the Korean Teachers’ Credit Union and Glenwood Private Equity as a structured finance expert. Cho joined PS Alliance in April of last year.

To differentiate itself from bigger rivals such as Coupang Corp. and eBay Inc., TMON narrowed its focus and adopted aggressive marketing campaigns. It introduced the Time Commerce marketing concept, selling products at clearance prices in a short window of time. 

Coupang Corp., 37% owned by SoftBank Group, submitted its IPO application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week to become the first Korean company to list directly on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO is expected to value the Korean retailer at around $50 billion.

Write to Chae-Yeon Kim at why29@hankyung.com

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.

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