KC Kung leaves MBK Partners

Rainmaker KC Kung has left MBK Partners as the private equity firm gears up to raise its biggest ever fund.
KC Kung
KC Kung

Kuo-Chuan Kung is leaving MBK Partners, a person familiar with the move said on Tuesday.

The departure of the prominent rainmaker, known as KC Chung, comes as MBK Partners attempts to raise its biggest ever fund at $4 billion for deals across North Asia.

It was unclear how Kung's exit would impact potential investors' perceptions of the firm. 

MBK Partners' largest deal yet -- the purchase of Tesco’s Korean discount retail chain Homeplus for $6.4 billion -- propelled the Korean-headquartered firm into the big league by beating KKR on price.

However, MBK is currently struggling to sell ING Life Insurance as Korea's planned deployment of the missile defence system Thaad has put off Chinese bidders worried about political tension between the two countries, according to other people familiar with the deal's progress.

Several of its other Korean investments are also underperforming expectations.

One of the founding partners of the private equity firm, Kung was also head of Greater China for MBK. He led the nine-strong Shanghai office.

He is currently taking a career break and looking to start a new venture, the person said.

Kung was the lead dealmaker on MBK Partners’ investment in Taiwan’s China Network Systems (CNS).

MBK finally sold its 60% stake in CNS to Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia and Far Eastone Telecommunications after several aborted attempts. Taiwan’s regulator approved the sale on December 30 last year.

Prior to MBK, Kung was the head of Carlyle’s Shanghai office. Michael Kim, the founding partner of MBK, is another Carlyle almunus.

Before entering private equity Kung worked at McKinsey in Hong Kong and New York.

He serves on the boards of CNS, Beijing Bowei Airport Support and Shanghai-headquartered Apex Logistics.
 

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