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Michael ByungJu Kim Donates KRW 30 Bn to Build Public Library in Seoul

  • Sunday, August 8, 2021, 2:28 pm
  • ACROFAN=Jae-Yong Ryu
  • jaeyong.ryu@acrofan.com
■ Public library to be constructed in Seodaemun and named in honor of the donor: Seoul Public Kim ByungJu Library
■ First-ever individual donation for construction of a Seoul public building

Michael ByungJu Kim, founder and chairman of MBK Partners, has agreed to donate KRW 30 billion (approximately USD 26.5 million) to the Seoul Metropolitan Government for the construction of a public library in Bukgajwa-dong in Seodaemun.

A ceremony was held at the Seoul City Hall on Friday, August 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. to commemorate Chairman Kim’s landmark donation. The gift represents the first-ever donation by an individual for the construction of a civic institution in Seoul. The event was attended by Mayor Oh Se-hoon and other Seoul City officials as well as the Kim family.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will honor the gift by naming the library after Chairman Kim. Hence, the name of the library will be “The Seoul Public Kim ByungJu Library”. The city will commission the design of the library through an international bidding process later this year, with plan to break ground in one year and open the library by 2025.

 
“We are deeply thankful to Chairman Michael ByungJu Kim for his very generous donation for the construction of a library. We will endeavor to build a good library for the people of Seoul to honor his wishes,” said Mayor Oh at the ceremony. “Chairman Kim is an exemplar for other self-made businesspeople aspiring to make donations from their own pockets and is expected to encourage many Koreans to give more back to society.”

“I would like to extend my appreciation to Mayor Oh Se-hoon and other Seoul city officials, who gave me the opportunity to make this meaningful donation for the construction of a new library,”

said Chairman Kim. “My lifelong love of books inspired me to help create a communal space where people may gather to read. My wish is that the library becomes a place where the people of Seoul may enjoy reading books, develop knowledge and exchange ideas for the good of the community.

Chairman Kim, known as “the Godfather of Asian private equity”, is also a leading philanthropist. He founded the MBK Scholarship Foundation in 2007 to provide full college scholarships to students in financial need. A total of 155 students have received MBK’s scholarships to date.

Chairman Kim has engaged in impact giving focused on education and the arts. His gifts have included a student dormitory at Haverford College, the Ki Yong Kim Hall (named after his father), and a professorship endowment at Harvard Business School, the Michael B. Kim Professor of International Business. He is a board member and an active supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall. He also debuted as an author last year with his novel, Offerings, which was a U.S. national bestseller.

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About MBK Partners

MBK Partners, founded in 2005, is one of the largest private equity firms in Asia, with over USD 24.5 billion in capital under management. With investment strategies driven by long-term perspectives, MBK Partners invests in North Asia, China, Japan, and Korea. The firm focuses on consumer and retail, telecommunications and media, financial services, healthcare, industrials, and logistics. MBK Partners has offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul. The firm has acquired or invested in 38 companies, with aggregated revenues of USD 47.2 billion and 388,607 employees. For more information on MBK Partners, please visit the website www.mbkpartnerslp.com

About MBK Scholarship Foundation

The MBK Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2007 to provide financial assistance to college students to become the leaders of tomorrow. There are no conditions or obligations when receiving the scholarship or after graduation. It encourages its scholarship recipients to the practice “paying it forward”. The board members of the Foundation include leading academic scholars and legal professionals as well as Chairman Michael ByungJu Kim.

In 2014, the MBK Scholarship Foundation was named the recipient of the Seoul Metropolitan City Superintendent of Education Award. For more information about the MBK Scholarship Foundation, please visit the website www.mbkscholars.org