AON Holdings, Korea's mid-sized financial group, will be the new owner of the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, Vietnam's tallest building, from Keangnam Enterprises. According to investment banking sources on December 16, Samjong KPMG, the principal underwriter for selling debts of Landmark 72, has recently selected AON Holdings as the preferred bidder to the deal. The debts owed by Keangnam are currently held by a project financing creditor group consisting of five commercial banks and ten savings banks.
The balance of loans taken out by Keangnam Enterprises when it built Landmark 72 in 2012 reaches about 600 billion won (US$510). It was reported that the price AON paid for was about 450 billion won. Earlier, the bidding war surrounding the Vietnamese property was waged among three strongest contenders including Goldman Sachs and Hana Financial Investment. Goldman Sachs had been keenly interested in purchasing the real estate asset. But AON Holdings came late in the fray and outbid everyone else.
Once AON acquires the loan portion, it will be able to take control of the whole building. Currently the Vietnamese local corporation of Keangnam Enterprises owns a 70-percent stake in Landmark 72. In turn, the loans of Landmark 72 were provided with the local corporation's shares as collateral. For this reason, AON will be able to own the building easily after it takes over the loans and exercise its collateral rights. AON Holdings has AON Investment and Turbo Engineering under its wings. It sold off Hanshin Savings Bank to Taiwan's Yuanta Securities in May this year.