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Delivery apps

Sale of Korea’s No.2 delivery app Yogiyo kicks off with May 4 prelim bid

Apr 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Sale of Korea’s No.2 delivery app Yogiyo kicks off with May 4 prelim bid

The sale of South Korea’s second-largest food delivery app Yogiyo has kicked off with the sell-side issuing an information memorandum to potential bidders for the platform estimated at around 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion).

According to the investment banking industry on Apr. 7, German online food delivery service Delivery Hero SE, the owner of Yogiyo, and Morgan Stanley, the lead manager of the stake sale, will receive preliminary bids from interested parties on May 4.

Industry watchers said the deal is likely to attract domestic retail giants, including Lotte, E-Mart, GS Retail and BGF Retail as well as IT companies such as SK Telecom Co. given the growing popularity of food delivery services in Korea.

Private equity firms with ample liquidity are also expected to show interest in Yogiyo, which commands a comfortable market share of about 30%.

Baedal Minjok, commonly known as Baemin, is Korea’s top food delivery service app with 60% market share. Coupang Eats, run by Coupang Corp., ranks third with 6.8% market share.

In December 2019, Delivery Hero purchased Baemin, the No. 1 food delivery app, from Woowa Brothers Corp. for $4.3 billion on the regulatory condition that the German company divests of a big chunk of its existing stake in Yogiyo to avoid a market monopoly.

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“In the food delivery service market, it costs a lot, including advertising and promotions, to get consumers to install an app on their mobile phones. But in Korea, the three apps are already up and running and people are using them without any significant preference,” said a potential bidder.

“The deal will provide a rare opportunity to acquire Korea’s No. 2 food delivery service provider in the fast-growing market.”

Sale of Korea’s No.2 delivery app Yogiyo kicks off with May 4 prelim bid

Yogiyo logged 353 billion won in revenue with an EBITDA of 47 billion won in 2020, posting a surprising turnaround in just a year considering the company reported an EBITDA loss of nearly 60 billion won in 2019.

In comparison, Baemin reported 1.1 trillion won in revenue but ran an operating loss of 11.2 billion won last year.

The sell-side is said to have no intention to sell Yogiyo to companies like Coupang, Kakao Corp. and Naver Corp. that could emerge as industry competitors.

If a private equity company takes over Yogiyo, it can later sell the app to one of those rivals at a more competitive price, analysts said.

Potential buyers can also take advantage of the deal's impending deadline.

Delivery Hero faces some time pressure to sell Yogiyo by next year. Otherwise, it could be fined between 500 million and 1 billion won a day in penalties.

Write to Jun-ho Cha at chacha@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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