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Korealife and KB Financial Become Finalists for ING Asia-Pacific Division Sales

June 01, 2012 11:31|July 04, 2012 13:16
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KB Financial Group and Korealife Insurance have been shortlisted for acquiring the Asia-Pacific operations of ING Group, N.V. According to investment banking industry sources on May 30, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the underwriters responsible for the sales of the ING Asia-Pacific division, decided recently to select Korealife and KB Financial for the purchase of ING’s Southeast Asian and Korean subsidiaries respectively.

ING Group is considering the sales of its Asia-Pacific subsidiaries in three separate packages, including those of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea. That’s because the world’s one of the biggest insurance companies had been disappointed to see MetLife (U.S.) and Manulife (Canada) bid at lower prices for the whole Asia-Pacific operations than expected. The Netherlands-based ING Group took its Asia-Pacific division and asset management business out for sale after it received public funds in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. The group, however, decided not to sell its subsidiaries in China and India.

The bidding for Korea’s ING subsidiary was joined by several global insurance companies including AIA Insurance. But the sales package that saw the fiercest bidding war was the Southeast Asian subsidiary, in which Richard Li, the son of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, was shortlisted in addition to Korealife. But Japan’s No. 2 life insurer Dai-ichi Life and other overseas private equity funds failed to make the shortlist.

According to investment banking sources, the final sales prices for the Southeast Asian and Korean blocks will be determined at around US$8 billion and $3 billion, respectively.

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