Oceanbridge, a semiconductor material and equipment vendor, will be sold to a special purpose company (SPC) effectively owned by SK Telecom, TheElec has confirmed.
The SPC, called Pan Asia Semiconductor material, or Pan Asia, will buy 24.2% stake of Oceanbridge from existing shareholders __ including Oceanbridge CEO Lee Kyeong-ju’s 16% stake __ at 27.8 billion won. Lee’s 16% ownership will be sold at 18.4 billion won.
Namsung President Yoon Nam-cheol, who owns a 4.2% stake of Oceanbridge, will sell his for 4.838 billion won. His two daughters each own a 2% of Oceanbridge and will sell theirs for 2.3 billion won respectively. The contract for the deal was signed on Friday.
Pan Asia will pay the fee for the stakes by June 8. Price per share was set at 11,500 won.
KOSDAQ-listed Oceanbridge’s closing price on Thursday, the day before the contract was singed, was 13,550 won. It closed at 13,500 won on Friday. On Monday, June 1, it closed at 15,900 won, its highest price in 52 weeks.
People familiar with the matter told TheElec that Lee sold his shares to Pan Asia without any management premium and below the market price, which was highly unusual.
Meanwhile, Pan Asia’s 100% parent company is Quantum Innovation No.1 Private Equity Investment. Quantum, in turn, is owned by SK Telecom which has a 59.9% stake. The telco invested in the company on the fourth quarter of 2018. It like spent some 18 billion won, the people said.
Oceanbridge, meanwhile, on December, 2018, said it will invest 5 billion won into a company that was forming with a capital of 30 billion won called Quantum Semiconductor Innovation Private Equity Investment. It is likely the same company as Quantum Innovation No.1 Private Equity Investment, with the name announced then a tentative one. Oceanbridge owns a 16.7% stake in Quantum. The remaining 23.3% valued at 7 billion won is owned by PNS Networks.
Pan Asia was formed last month, on May 12, just 17 days before the deal with Oceanbridge. The SPC seems to have been formed just to purchase Oceanbridge stakes. Quantum’s 30 billion capital will also likely be used to buy stakes in Oceanbridge.
These circumstances suggest with high probability that SK Telecom’s board must have discussed the purchase of Oceanbridge since they declared that they were forming quantum back in 2018. As Quantum’s contracted capital was 30 billion won, Pan Asia could only buy Oceanbridge’s stake at a price lower than 30 billion, which explains why the stakes were sold at below market price.
Through the deal, Oceanbridge CEO Lee seems to be effectively selling his personal stakes to SK Telecom and ex-vice chairman of Pantech, Park Byeong-yeop.
PNS Networks is owned 40% by Pantech C&I, which, in turn, is 100% owned by Park Byeong-yeop. His two sons each own a 30% personal stake of PNS.
Namsung’s stock price soared 11.29% on Friday, the day Yoon agreed to sell his stake to Pan Asia. Due to the share price hike, Namsung was asked by local financial authorities where it had any news to disclose, in which the company replied that there was none.
Oceanbridge was formed in 2012. It was listed on KOSDAQ on 2016. It grew by supplying goods to SK Hynix, also an affiliate of SK Telecom.