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SC Lowy Sells 20% Stake as It Seeks to Expand in Europe

By Lianting Tu

(Bloomberg) — SC Lowy Financial HK Ltd., an international banking and finance group specializing in fixed income, has sold a 20 percent stake to a group of strategic investors including Investec Plc, Universal Partners Ltd. and Fine Partners Corp. The investment group also comprises major European real-estate companies and overseas family offices, SC Lowy said in a statement sent to Bloomberg News on Tuesday. Prior to the transaction, Hong Kong-based SC Lowy was fully management-owned, according to the statement.

“Adding more experience and expertise to our register coupled with their global network will allow us to continue our growth and add value across our business,” Michel Lowy, chief executive officer at SC Lowy, said in the statement. He and Soo Cheon Lee founded the company in 2009 after both worked on the special situations desk of Deutsche Bank AG.

The fresh capital from the stake sale will partly be used to expand SC Lowy’s European business, Lowy said in an interview Tuesday, adding that the company opened an office in Milan in the new year. The role of the new investors is largely passive, and they will provide assistance as and when needed, he said. In December, SC Lowy won support from majority shareholders of distressed Italian bank Credito di Romagna SpA to take a controlling interest, SC Lowy said, citing a statement from the Italian lender.

In Asia, SC Lowy plans to add five to 10 employees in 2018, Lowy said. Distressed debt in India and Indonesia is an area where he sees considerable opportunities. The firm has hired several people for both markets in the last few months and may establish a presence onshore in India at some point, he said in the interview.

SC Lowy expanded into South Korea in October 2013. Along with private equity firm Yuli PE, it acquired 89 percent of Shinmin Bank, which was re-branded Choeun Savings Bank, according to SC Lowy’s website.

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