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Second private equity fund drops out of bidding for Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Co (CCKBC)

A month after the private equity fund CVC Capital Partners withdrew its planned bid to take over Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Co (CCKBC), another private equity consortium - MBK Partners and Woongjin Capital - also withdrew its bid. While the official reason given was a disagreement over price, the public opposition expressed by the IUF-affiliated CCKBC unions was also a likely factor. In an open letter to CCA and a press release issued in both Korea and Australia, the three CCKBC unions declared that they would take industrial action to stop any attempts by private equity funds to enter the bottling plants to assess its value. Any guarantees from a private equity fund were viewed as meaningless since such funds are geared towards piling up debt and imposing business decisions based on a short-term “exit” strategy.