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Delivery Hero gets 5 more months to sell Yogiyo until January

The German firm is in exclusive talks with Affinity-led consortium, but the deal value is already cut in half

By Jul 22, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Yogiyo delivery riders
Yogiyo delivery riders

South Korea’s antitrust regulator said on Thursday it is extending the deadline for Germany’s Delivery Hero SE to sell food delivery platform Yogiyo by five months until early January.

The German company will now be able to complete the sale of its 100% stake in Yogiyo, Korea’s second-largest food delivery app, by Jan. 2, according to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).

Originally, Delivery Hero was required to sell Yogiyo by early next month in return for its $4 billion acquisition last year of an 88% stake in Woowa Brothers Corp., the operator of Korea’s top food delivery app Baedal Minjok, commonly known as Baemin. The Korean antitrust regulator ordered Delivery Hero to sell Yogiyo on concerns over market monopoly.

The German company, however, earlier this month asked the KFTC to extend the deadline by six months as it has been struggling to find buyers.

EXCLUSIVE TALKS WITH AFFINITY

Delivery Hero is currently in exclusive talks with a consortium led by global investment firm Affinity Equity Partners over the Yogiyo sale.

Investment banking sources said last week the consortium of the Asian private equity firm, Korea’s GS Retail, the retail chain unit of GS Holdings Co., and British investment firm Permira is in negotiations to acquire 100% of Yogiyo.

Korea's two largest food delivery apps, Baemin and Yogiyo
Korea's two largest food delivery apps, Baemin and Yogiyo

MBK Partners, Shinsegae Group and other bidders who initially showed interest have dropped out of the race, the sources said.

The value of the Yogiyo deal is now estimated at slightly over 1 trillion won ($876 million), including new shares in Yogiyo to be issued.

VALUE CUT IN HALF

That’s almost half of Delivery Hero’s initial asking price of 2 trillion won, but still higher than Yogiyo’s estimated enterprise value of 500 billion won, slashed drastically after some bidders questioned the platform’s growth potential.

Baemin is the dominant player, controlling about two-thirds of the Korean food delivery market, followed by Yogiyo (17.9%) and Coupang Eats (13.6%).

Yogiyo delivery motor bikes
Yogiyo delivery motor bikes

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, however, Coupang Eats has been expanding its market share with new services. Industry watchers say it’s just a matter of time before Coupang Eats overtakes Yogiyo if the German owner completes its sale.

Affinity Equity Partners is one of the largest dedicated Asian private equity firms and focuses on leveraged buyout and growth capital transactions. Affinity operates as a Pan-Asian firm focusing on investment opportunities in Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Greater China and Southeast Asia.

Morgan Stanley is handling the sale of Yogiyo.

Write to Chae-yeon Kim and Ji-Hoon Lee at Why29@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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