S Korea’s CJ Group weighs $1b sale of Chinese logistics firm Rokin

South Korean conglomerate CJ Group is exploring a sale of its Chinese unit CJ Rokin Logistics Supply Chain Co., according to people familiar with the matter, as a surge in e-commerce fuels demand for assets in related sectors.

The Shanghai-based unit, which specializes in chemical and cold-storage transportation, could fetch as much as $1 billion in a sale, the people said. The group has received preliminary interest from potential buyers including other logistics firms as well as investment funds, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

CJ Rokin owns more than 400 cold chain vehicles and more than 260,000 square meters of temperature-controlled warehouse space, according to its website.

Its customers include snacks and beverages giant PepsiCo Inc., Italian Nutella maker Ferrero Group and Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG. The company also operates more than 260 vehicles for hazardous materials. It was founded in 1985 by brothers Zhang Yurong and Zhang Yuqing, its website shows.

CJ acquired Rokin in 2015 for 455 billion won ($392 million) and said it would invest a further 312 billion won. CJ Rokin is part of the group’s CJ Logistics arm, which has units in the U.S., India, Vietnam, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, according to its annual report.

Shares in CJ Logistics climbed as much as 2% in early Wednesday trading in Seoul, while the benchmark Kospi index was down about 0.5%. The stock is up 17% in the year to date, giving the company a market value of $3.5 billion.

Sale considerations are preliminary and no final decision has been made, the people said. A representative for CJ Logistics couldn’t immediately comment on the matter.

Transportation and logistics companies have seen increased demand amid a boom in e-commerce, one of the beneficiaries of coronavirus-driven lockdowns. Private-equity firm MBK Partners is reviving its plan for a potential sale of Chinese freight forwarder Apex Logistics International Inc., in a deal that could value the firm at more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.