Chances are high for Australia's Pepper Group to be acquired by a global private equity firm KKR, raising a question of whether Pepper Savings Bank of Korea would have a new owner.
According to industry sources on July 6, KKR made a proposal to acquire the controlling rights of the Australian Pepper Group for 655 million Australian dollars (US$496 million). After acquiring Pepper Group which is now listed on Australia's stock market, KKR plans to delist it.
Pepper Group launched into the Korean financial market in October 2013 when it acquired 100-percent stake in Neul Pureun Savings Bank from Woongjin Group. In October of the same year, Pepper Group established Pepper Savings Bank by merging Neul Pureun Savings Bank with Haneul Savings Bank.
After being acquired by Pepper Group, Pepper Savings Bank climbed up to No. 10 in Korea's savings bank industry ranking with its total assets marking a seven-fold increase in just three and a half years.