Moat PE, a recently-established Korean private equity fund manager, is paying up to 19.8 billion won ($16 million) to acquire a 14 per cent stake in Kosdaq-listed electronics manufacturer Exax Inc, according to a filing.
In a disclosure, Exax said Moat has signed a stock transfer agreement with J&J Investment, the electronics manufacturer’s largest shareholder, involving 9.9 million shares, or 13.83 per cent of the company’s total issued shares.
After the deal is consummated, J&J will continue to remain a minority shareholder of Exax with a 4.87 per cent stake. The firm had acquired an 18.7 per cent stake in Exax in 2017.
Exax is principally engaged in the manufacture of near field communication antennas, which are mainly used in smartphones, and chemicals used for displays. It distributes its products within the domestic market and to overseas customers.
The company, which was founded in March 1976 and is headquartered in Cheonan-si, commercialised RFID tag and NFC antenna in printing method (R2R process) for the first time in Korea by developing its own conductive ink and paste based on accumulated chemical combination technology.
The investor, Moat Private Equity, is a new player in South Korea’s investment space. Established in August 2019, the PE firm has reportedly raised two funds with total commitments of 150 billion won ($122 million).
Moat PE has joined a number of South Korean private equity firms that have actively been acquiring firms recently. In February, PE house Hahn & Co agreed to acquire SK Chemical’s biofuel business for 382.5 billion won ($322 million) in an all-cash transaction.
In October, ACE Equity Partners agreed to acquire a stake in local semiconductor testing specialist Tesna for about 152.7 billion won ($129 million).
South Korean PE firm IMM Private Equity last year raised an initial $1.3 billion for its fourth fund, IMM Rosegold IV. The fund, which was launched in December 2018, is targeting to raise around $1.5 billion with a hard cap of $1.8 billion. The fundraising is ongoing and scheduled to be closed this year.