New York-headquartered JC Flowers & Co has announced the sale of South Korean consumer finance and leasing company Acuon Capital to funds affiliated with Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA). Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
JC Flowers, a private investment firm that focuses on the global financial services industry, formed Acuon through the acquisition and merger of three lending businesses in South Korea – Acuon Capital, Doosan Capital, and Acuon Savings Bank.
Headquartered in Seoul, Acuon has $3.9 billion total loan portfolio and 335,000 customers. Under JC Flowers’s ownership, the South Korean financial firm grew its retail consumer lending business, expanded its distribution channels, and invested in new IT systems, while experiencing profitable growth.
“JC Flowers is proud to have created a successful diversified corporate and retail lending business with a strong franchise, and we are confident that the Acuon management team has found the right partner in BPEA to take the company forward,” said Thierry Porté, Managing Director at JC Flowers.
BPEA is one of the largest and most established private alternative investment firms in Asia, with total committed capital of over $17 billion.
The firm runs a private equity investment program, sponsoring buyouts and providing growth capital to companies for expansion or acquisitions with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region, as well as investing into companies globally that can benefit from further expansion into the Asia Pacific region.
The firm has a 21-year history and over 170 employees located across offices in Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.
Han Chul Kim, Managing Director at BPEA, said financial services is a core focus sector for BPEA, and the PE firm has been actively seeking opportunities within the growing consumer finance sector in Asia.
“We see Acuon as a rare opportunity to acquire control of a combined savings bank and a capital company in Korea. After a successful period of integration under J.C. Flowers’s ownership, we are looking forward to helping the company accelerate its growth trajectory and capitalize on the increasing demand for alternative lenders,” Kim said.