Standard Chartered PE in $74m Korean water deal

The fund manager is set to buy all the shares of wastewater business KWE it does not already own from the company's parent group.

Standard Chartered Private Equity has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Kolon Water & Energy, a Korean private wastewater treatment company, from listed parent group Kolon Corporation. 

The transaction values KWE's 544,000 shares at KRW88.6 billion ($74 million; €66 million), according to a filling with Korea Stock Exchange. The stock represents 62.6 percent of the company’s all issued shares. 

KWE's core business involves managing wastewater treatment facilities of industrial complexes, social infrastructure projects and municipalities in Korea. 

SCPE is already familiar with KWE, having invested in the company as a minority shareholder in 2009. Finventures UK, a vehicle managed by the firm, so far held a 35 percent stake in KWE. The firm will use the fund to acquire the remaining stake from Kolon, according to local reports. 

A SCPE spokesperson confirmed that the acquisition will be done through funds managed by SCPE, without providing further financial details.

“KWE has established strong market positions in the fast-growing water treatment industry,” said Taeyub Kim, managing director at SCPE Korea. “We look forward to supporting the company’s expansion plans to become the leading integrated environmental solutions provider in Korea.” 

SCPE has been active in Korea since 2004. It currently has investments of over $800 million in the country, the spokesperson said.