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Future mobility

Affirma, EastBridge in race for T Map Mobility’s $267 mn fundraising

By Mar 04, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Affirma, EastBridge in race for T Map Mobility’s 7 mn fundraising

Global buyout fund Affirma Capital and South Korean private equity firm EastBridge Partners will compete in a race for the 300 billion won ($267 million) fundraising by SK Telecom Co. for its mobility spin-off T Map Mobility Co.

According to the investment banking industry on Mar. 4, the two PEFs have been named the final bidders for an equity investment in T Map Mobility.

During preliminary bidding held in January, about eight strategic investors and private equity companies, including IMM PE, expressed intent to invest in T Map.

SK Telecom, Korea’s top mobile carrier, earlier said it is seeking to raise up to 300 billion won to foster T Map Mobility as the country’s largest mobility service.

Standard Chartered Securities is in charge of the fundraising. Affirma Capital is a $3.5 billion buyout fund spun off from Standard Chartered Plc.

Sources said the final investor will be chosen next week.

LATECOMER WITH HIGH GROWTH POTENTIAL

T Map Mobility is a latecomer to the domestic mobility industry, which is currently dominated by Kakao Mobility. Yet, industry players have high expectations for the newcomer's growth potential, given that it is fully backed by SK Telecom, which has named the mobility business as the group's future growth driver.

Affirma, EastBridge in race for T Map Mobility’s 7 mn fundraising

Also, SK Telecom's joint venture with the US ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. may prove to be a game-changer in the domestic industry, as the partnership should boost the mobility business in Korea by combining T Map Mobility's network of drivers and mapping technology with Uber's ride-hailing technology and global operations expertise.

Uber said in October last year that it will invest around $50 million in T Map Mobility and $100 million in the joint venture, considering T Map Mobility's enterprise value of 1 trillion won.

T Map Mobility and Uber plan to launch their JV, UT LLC, in April.

SK Telecom aims to grow T Map Mobility to post 600 billion won in annual revenue with an enterprise value of 4.5 trillion won by 2025.

Write to Chae-yeon Kim at Why29@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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