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MBK Partners wins the race to buy Tesco’s South Korean unit Homeplus in a deal valued at $6.6 billion

Tesco PLC, the British retailer has chosen MBK Partners as the bidder to buy its South Korean unit, in a deal that is reported to be valued at $6.6 billion. This sale of one of its biggest overseas unit is the first divestment by Tesco, post the debacle of an accounting-related scandal and credit rating being cut. Selling of Korean unit Homeplus could help Tesco manage its debt and reclaim its investment-grade status quicker. This is being touted as one of the largest private equity deals in Asia, with MBK having bid around 7.8 trillion ($6.61 billion) which is reported to be higher than expected. MBK outran bids from a combination of buyout firms like Affinity Equity Partners and KKR & Co as well as from Carlyle Group LP. Seoul-based MBK, one of the largest Asia-based private equity firms, is backed in its bid by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings] and is seeking funds from South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS).


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