The private equity owners of South Korean cable group C&M have instructed Goldman Sachs to begin seeking buyers this week after seven years of ownership, hoping that fierce competition among rival operators could lead to a valuation as high as $3 billion.
MBK, a South Korean private equity firm founded by former Carlyle Group managers, leads a consortium that has held 92.5 per cent of C&M since 2008. The consortium also includes Macquarie Group and Seoul-based Mirae Asset Management. The owners hope to complete the sale this year and are seeking an equity valuation of $2.5bn-$3bn for C&M noting improving investor sentiment towards the global media industry and strong competition in South Korea’s relatively crowded pay-TV market. A consortium led by KKR last year sold the South Korean brewer Oriental Brewery for $5.8 billion including debt. KKR had bought the company in 2009 for $1.8 billion including debt.
C&M is the third-biggest of South Korea’s four major cable television operators, with 2.4 million subscribers mostly in Seoul.