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IMM pauses acquisition of Kolmar CMO units

Logos of IMM (left) and Kolmar Korea
Logos of IMM (left) and Kolmar Korea
IMM Private Equity’s plan to acquire Kolmar Korea’s contract-based pharmaceutical business assets for 512.52 billion won ($427.24 million) has been postponed indefinitely, filings showed Monday.

In a renewed disclosure, the prearranged deadline for IMM’s all-cash deal to buy the assets owned by Kolmar Korea Holdings’ stake by July 31 was scrapped on Friday, without setting a fresh due date.

This comes two months after Korea’s third-largest private equity fund inked an agreement to take over crown jewel Kolmar Korea’s pharmaceutical contract manufacturing organizations (CMO) for 336.36 billion won and a 61.2 percent stake in another contract manufacturing unit Kolmar Pharma for 176.16 billion won before July 31, so that Kolmar Korea Holdings -- the cosmetics-to-health care group’s holding company -- would be able to convert the stake into cash.

Under the terms, the transaction will be closed either by July 31 or by the date the proposed buyer and the seller Kolmar Korea Holdings agree on.

IMM’s decision to delay the deal indefinitely came a week after Kolmar Pharma was ordered to remove the inventory of products based on obesity treatment Orlistat by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

IMM could not be immediately reached for comment as of press time.

Kolmar Pharma is currently controlled by Kolmar Korea Holdings. The company generated an 18.1 billion won net income in 2019, up 23.4 percent on-year. Meanwhile, Kolmar Korea’s health care operations except for its toothpaste maker unit were to be carved out of the group’s crown jewel.

The deal comes as Kolmar Korea was looking to improve its balance sheet in an effort to reduce leverage from the 1.3 trillion won acquisition of healthcare unit HK inno.N, which was formerly known as CJ HealthCare, in 2018.

Kolmar Korea was poised to gain a shareholder approval for the merger transaction through an extraordinary shareholders meeting last week, only to be forced to delay without a further notice on the future schedule.

By Son Ji-hyoung (