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Asian private equity firm Unitas Capital to sell South Korean retail chain

14 Oct 2009

Asia-focused private equity firm Unitas Capital is looking to sell South Korean convenience store chain Buy the Way, according to the Financial Times. The firm has appointed Deutsche Bank to lead the sale process for the retailer, in a deal that could fetch up to $500m.

Since Unitas acquired the company in 2006 for $200m, Buy the Way has expanded the number of outlets from 980 to 1,400, placing it in the top five of South Korean convenience store retail chains.

The sale could offer global retailers an opportunity to break in to the South Korean convenience sector, which reported an 8.3 per cent rise in sales in the year to August, or give a rival business the opportunity to expand its market presence. Buy the Way reportedly made revenues of KRW500bn ($430m) and earnings of KRW30bn ($25.8m).

Unitas was set up in 1999 and has $4bn in capital under management. It has made two successful exits in South Korea: Haitai Confectionary and car parts supplier Mando Corporation.

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