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BlackRock sells some of Coway stake

An air purifier of Coway (Coway)
An air purifier of Coway (Coway)
The world‘s largest asset management firm BlackRock has sold a 1.18 percent stake in South Korea’s home appliance rental service firm Coway for 50 billion won ($44.7 million), a filing showed Thursday.

Following the transactions, the combined equity holding of BlackRock Fund Advisors and 13 affiliated entities in Coway has been reduced to 3.83 percent, and is no longer subject to filing obligations as a blockholder of the company, which specializes in door-to-door rental services of water purifiers and air purifiers.

The transactions were meant to retrieve its investment in the company, BlackRock said in the filing.

BlackRock first emerged as a blockholder of Coway in 2019 without an intention to influence management. It held a 5.01 percent stake in the firm in September 2019.

BlackRock was looking after $1.7 trillion worth of assets globally as of June 2020.

The news came weeks after London-based Impax Asset Management Group said in a filing that it held a 6.26 percent stake in Coway as of March, adding 0.69 percent voting rights in three months.

Coway has been an affiliate of domestic gaming giant Netmarble Corp. since February 2020. Netmarble is a biggest shareholder with a 25.08 percent stake in Coway, followed by the National Pension Service‘s 7.08 percent.

Coway’s operating profit in 2020 came to 606.4 billion won, up 38.4 percent from the previous year.

By Son Ji-hyoung (