South Korea court approves $1.1 billion Woongjin Coway stake sale to MBK

SEOUL Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:43pm EST

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SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean court has approved the $1.1 billion sale of a near 30 percent stake in water purifier maker Woongjin Coway Co Ltd (021240.KS) to domestic private equity fund MBK Partners, putting one of the largest private equity deals in Asia this year back on track.

The sale had been halted when Coway's largest shareholder Woongjin Holdings Co Ltd (016880.KS) applied for court receivership in late September.

MBK is buying a 28.4 percent stake from Woongjin Holdings and another 2.5 percent from other shareholders.

Under the sale plan, MBK is due to pay about 30 percent of the 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) sale value during November, a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters last week.

MBK has already paid 5-6 percent of the sale value and the remainder will be paid in early January, the source said.

As creditors moved one step closer to getting their money back, shares in Woongjin Holdings jumped 11 percent on Monday, adding to a climb of 15 percent on Friday after Woongjin Holdings submitted the sales plan to the court.

($1 = 1087.7500 Korean won)

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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