TRUSTED PARTNERS DEDICATED TO LONG-TERM GROWTH

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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.

 
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OUR APPROACH

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.

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Korea has the 2nd highest inheritance tax rate among the OECD nations, making succession planning particularly challenging.

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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

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In 2018, 16.3% of all Korean SMEs listed on the M&A market quoted not having a succession plan as their key reason.

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A survey of 1,400 Korean SMEs conducted in 2019 shows that 82.9% of Korean SMEs don’t have a succession plan

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INDUSTRY
  • 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

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COMPANY
  • 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

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FINANCIAL
  • $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

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SITUATIONAL
  • 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

 
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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).

CHARLES RYU
MANAGING PARTNER & CEO
CHARLES RYU
MANAGING PARTNER & CEO

Taeksu is a Partner at KSIP. Prior to joining KSIP, Taeksu was a management consultant at T-Plus, a top management consulting firm in Korea. During his time as a consultant, Taeksu completed numerous strategic advisory mandates as well as commercial (and acquisition) due diligence projects for private equity clients and small to large Korean companies. He brings experience across a wide range of industries, including consumer goods, retail, F&B, entertainment, healthcare and business services.

Taeksu also spent time at global consulting firms such as Bain & Company, Roland Berger and Nomura Research Institute and in private equity at Partner One Investment as a Research Assistant.

During Taeksu’s Korean military service, he was elected to represent more than 2,000 enlisted soldiers at the 17th Airbase of Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) and led initiatives related to human rights. 

Taeksu graduated from Sogang University where he majored in economics and business. He is also a member of Mensa , a Top 2% IQ society.

TAEKSU WANG
PARTNER
TAEKSU WANG
PARTNER
 
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LOCATION
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Suite 4601 (46F), Three IFC Seoul

10 Gukjegeumyung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu,

Seoul, Korea (07326)

CONTACT