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Vogo to market Fund II

The Seoul-based firm, which has fully deployed its maiden fund, aims to raise up to $858m.

South Korean private equity firm Vogo Fund plans to start raising capital for its second private equity fund in the middle of next year, Jason Shin, managing partner and co-founder of Vogo, told sister magazine PEI Asia.

It will target commitments of between W800 billion ($690 million; €467 million) and W1 trillion, he said. This amount will include about $300 million to $400 million that will be raised for a separate fund for overseas investors, he added. The two funds will invest together on a pro-rata basis.

The fund has fully invested its maiden fund, comprised of a W500 billion domestically raised fund and Korea Global, a $120 million fund raised from foreign investors.

Vogo generally invests in mid- to large-sized companies that require $100 million to $300 million in equity. While it will continue to make such investments from its new fund, it will also be open to signing larger transactions, Shin said.

In September, the firm invested W194.4 billion for a 30.7 percent stake in BC Card, Korea's biggest credit card company, from Hana Bank and SC First Bank. The firm will acquire additional stakes in the company and plans to be a controlling stakeholder in BC Card by the end of the year, Shin told PEI Asia in an interview at the time.

In the same month, the firm invested an additional sum of approximately $20 million to take a control of Novita, a Korean household appliance maker in which it has invested $30 million for a 33 percent stake in December 2006.

The firm's maiden fund was fully deployed following the completion of the two deals.

Vogo Fund’s other investments include Tong Yang Life Insurance, digital multimedia device maker Reigncom and silicon wafer maker Siltron.

Korea has seen a fair bit of activity in the last month. Last week, a source told PEI Asia the Macquarie Group is planning to raise around $1 billion for Macquarie Korea Opportunities Fund II, an infrastructure-focused fund.

Asian buyout firm Unitas Capital is nearing the sale of South Korean retailer Buy The Way, for which the firm has received nine bids, most of which were worth more than W300 billion. In late November, Hong Kong-headquartered Affinity Equity Partners agreed to sell its 70 percent stake in Korean cosmetics company TheFaceShop for W278.5 billion and is likely to make a 3.5 times return on its investment.