TRUSTED PARTNERS DEDICATED TO LONG-TERM GROWTH
ENTREPRENEURIAL PRIVATE EQUITY FOR KOREAN SMEs
Korea Search Investment Partners (“KSIP”) is an entrepreneurial private equity firm seeking to identify, acquire and operate an exceptional small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) in Korea with a focus on driving long-term sustainable growth, strategic value creation and operational excellence through active operating leadership.
KSIP seeks to acquire a controlling stake of a single Korean SME in the lower middle market segment (below $50M or ~50B KRW in enterprise value), typically overlooked by the traditional private equity funds.
We leverage a combination of rigorous analysis-driven sourcing strategies as well our long-lasting relationships and network in Korea to identify the right partnership opportunities such as owner/operators without a succession plan, companies seeking business-savvy operators and non-core divisions of Korean conglomerates.
Our strategy is centered around identifying companies with strong, sustainable fundamentals, entering into a partnership in a disciplined yet collaborative and flexible manner, executing well-planned value creation initiatives through direct day-to-day involvement and delivering exceptional long-term outcomes to both our investee company and investors.
Korea has the 2nd highest inheritance tax rate among the OECD nations, making succession planning particularly challenging.
Korean SMEs are struggling to keep up with the pace of aging managers and providing a viable succession plan in a timely manner.
Average Age of SME CEOs in Korea
Percentage of SMEs with CEO's Age Exceeding 60
In 2018, 16.3% of all Korean SMEs listed on the M&A market quoted not having a succession plan as their key reason.
A survey of 1,400 Korean SMEs conducted in 2019 shows that 82.9% of Korean SMEs don’t have a succession plan
Growing industry with favorable market tailwinds
Highly fragmented market without dominant competitors
Medium to low industry cyclicality
Low threat of competition or substitutes
Limited industry complexity and risk
Difficult-to-replicate, sustainable competitive advantage
Recurring revenue model with a diversified customer base
In a strong market / competitive position
Room to optimize growth and operations
Primary operations based in Korea
$5M to $50M in revenue (and/or $1.5M to $10M in EBITDA) with positive cash flows
Simple capital structure and capitalization table
Low on-going capital expenditure and working capital requirement
Minimal existing leverage
Current owner/operator looking to retire or reduce day-to-day responsibilities
Technically-focused founder (i.e. engineer) looking to recruit a business/finance savvy operator
Non-core assets or divisions of Korean conglomerates
Charles is the Managing Partner & CEO of KSIP. Charles brings unique, variant and global perspectives on the SME and middle market space having worked with a number of small to mid cap companies as an investment banker, private equity investor, business advisor and C-level operator.
Prior to launching KSIP, Charles spent a number of years advising companies on their strategic and financing alternatives. As an investment banker, Charles played a key role in over 30 successful equity and debt financings, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and restructuring transactions of companies in the Americas, Asia Pacific and EMEA regions across a wide range of industries, including technology, industrials, business services, consumer and natural resources. Charles also spent time at a $3B AUM healthcare private equity fund manager where he was responsible for sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities for the fund. Charles is an active member in the start-up / SME community having served as a CFO and an advisory board member of various early stage companies.
Charles earned his MBA and HBA from Ivey Business School (with Distinction), and majored in finance and economics at University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management (Dean's List).