[FIRST SEARCH FUND IN SOUTH KOREA - KSIP] BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Hi everyone! I wanted to introduce ourselves (Korea Search Investment Partners or “KSIP”) to the search fund community.
We’re the first traditional search fund based in Korea and will be conducting a search in partnership. My partner and I collectively have experience in investment banking, management consulting, private equity, start-ups and military.
We believe Korea is an excellent search market for the following reasons:
- [Large SME Market] 6.5M SMEs in Korea represent 99% of companies and are responsible for driving 88% of job creation and 50% of GDP
- [Favorable Demographic Trends] Post-Korean War baby boomers (born after[redacted]are looking to retire. Korean millennials have a strong preference to work for a large company in Seoul, leaving SMEs (particularly regionals) stranded
- [Motivated SME Sellers] 33% owner-operators are over 60 y/o, 83% don’t have a succession plan, the highest inheritance tax in the world (50% nominal; 65% effective). 1,000+ of Korean SMEs put themselves on the M&A market every year
- [Nascent Lower Middle Market] Relatively less competition for acquisitions (vs. North America / Europe) due to the shortage of institutional capital in this space. Local small PE players focus on $50M - $200M buyout deals.
- [Multiple Expansion Potential] The sub-$50M segment transacts at 4x to 8x EBITDA whereas the >$50M segment transacts at 8x to 12x (generally)
- [Ecosystem Supportive of SMEs] Various SME-friendly policies and SME-focused programs such as tax credits, grants, loan guarantees, financings and functional support are available. Availability and the cost of debt supportive of SME acquisition.
Please reach out to us and we would be happy to introduce ourselves and elaborate on the market opportunity further. Below are our emails: [redacted] [redacted] everyone!