Shin & Kim successfully represented Linde plc in completing the sale of the industrial gas business assets of Linde Korea to IMM Private Equity for approximately $1.2 billion.
Linde plc is the single largest player in the global industrial gases industry, having been established as a result of the historical $46 billion merger of Linde AG and Praxair, Inc. Among the merger approval processes that the two giants underwent in various countries, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) granted approval on the condition that Linde divests its industrial gases business assets in South Korea, which triggered the South Korea divestment.
Shin & Kim intimately advised the Linde Group as the lead M&A counsel in all aspects of the South Korea divestment, which was undertaken as a competitive auction deal that garnered high level of interest from major global and domestic strategic and financial players. As the lead counsel, Shin & Kim played a critical role in developing and executing a unique and personalized structure for the divestment, negotiation strategies with bidders to allow the client to maintain a competitive edge up until the signing of the definitive agreement, a meticulous approach to working with the KFTC to secure KFTC purchaser approval for the divestment and effectively executing the definitive agreements and the closing of the transaction, among others.
Through this transaction, Shin & Kim was able to demonstrate its incomparable ability to effectively advise on and close major cross-border transactions involving complex issues.
This divestiture transaction is significant not only because it is a crucial element to a historical mega merger but because it is a transaction that set precedent in Korea for KFTC ordered divestments of this calibre and complexity, in particular setting history as the first KFTC ordered divestment of a major asset to have been to a private equity fund.
The transaction team was led by Joon Hyug Chung (a partner in our M&A and European practice groups) and included Stephanie Kim and Su Hee Hong (partners in the M&A practice group) as well as Clara Miri Kang, among others. JY (Jooyoung) Park, John Choi, Jeannie Jeong and Sangdon Lee led the merger filing, fair trade and KFTC divestment aspects of the transaction.