SK Telecom in race to buy ADT Caps, valued at $2.8 billion: Korea Economic Daily

A logo of SK telecom is seen during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

SEOUL (Reuters) - SK Telecom 017670.KS, South Korea's No.1 telecom company by market share, entered a non-binding bid to buy domestic security systems company ADT Caps in a sale that could fetch at least $2.8 billion, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.

SK Telecom partnered with Macquarie Group MQG.AX unit Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) to enter the non-binding bid for Carlyle-owned CG.O ADT, the Korea Economic Daily reported, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

So far, the SK Telecom-Macquarie bid is up against a sole bid by a consortium led by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners made in late February, the paper said. It said the sale could fetch 3 trillion won ($2.81 billion) or more.

SK Telecom said it could not confirm or deny the report. Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets could not be immediately reached for comment. CVC Capital did not have an immediate comment.

ADT Caps, a former unit of Tyco International Inc, offers central monitoring, access control, video surveillance control and other integrated security services and was bought by Carlyle in an auction for $1.93 billion in February 2014.

Industry sources have said a private equity firm typically looks for a return of at least twice its initial investment, which means a sale of the business could potentially fetch around $4 billion.

The biggest recent transaction involving private equity in South Korea was in September 2015, when Tesco TSCO.L sold Homeplus for $6.1 billion to a consortium led by MBK Partners.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman