Goldman Sachs’ South Korean Asset Could Fetch $1.3 Billion in Auction

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NEW YORK - APRIL 16: Stock prices whiz by on a ticker near the Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 16, 2010 in New York, New York. Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its marketing of a subprime mortgage product, sending its stock price sharply lower. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
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South Korea’s Daesung Industrial Gases, nearly half-owned by Goldman Sachs, will be put up for auction with first-round bids due in early December – a deal reportedly worth about 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion).

Goldman owns 48% of the company through an investment unit while Daesung Group Partners owns 40%. Daesung Group is keen to sell its stake to cut debt, a spokesman for the South Korean company said.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Newspaper Korea Economic Daily reported this month that the deal, in which 100% of the company will be sold, is likely to be worth around 1.5 trillion won based on an expected EBITDA of 150 billion won this year. More than 10 parties have received information about the sale, domestic media have also said.

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In 2014, Daesung Group sold a 68% stake in the industrial gas maker to a consortium led by Goldman Sachs for about $400 million.

Daesung Industrial Gases produces industrial gases like nitrogen and oxygen, used in the steel, petrochemicals, refining, electronics and medical sectors. It is South Korea’s No. 2 maker of industrial and special gases, with a 25% market share.

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Its major customers include LG Display, SK Hynix, GS Caltex and LG Chem, according to a company filing.

A spokesman for SK Holdings, the largest shareholder of industrial gas maker SK Materials, said it had received information about the sale but it has yet to decide on whether to bid.

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