Shinhan Financial denies ING Life Insurance sale for W2.5tr
[THE INVESTOR] Shinhan Financial Group, Korea’s second largest financial services firm, on April 11 denied reports that it is acquiring ING Life Insurance for 2.5 trillion won (US$2.35 billion).
“Nothing has been decided at the moment,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
Earlier, a local news outlet reported that Shinhan Financial Group will pay 2.5 trillion won to acquire a 59.19 percent stake in the life-insurer held by local private equity firm MBK Partners.
Citing industry sources, the report said Shinhan recently conducted due diligence on ING Life Insurance through Deloitte Anjin, and reached an agreement on the tentative price range, which would represent a 20 percent management premium over ING Life Insurance’s share prices that closed at 43,800 won on April 10. MBK Partner’s 59.15 percent stake translates to around 2.12 trillion won.
Shinhan has been seeking to acquire ING Life Insurance in an attempt to solidify its market position and beat its rival KB Financial Group. KB Financial Group is also eying ING Life Insurance.
In 2013, MBK Partners purchased 100 percent stake in ING Life Insurance from Dutch financial company ING Group for 1.8 trillion won. It sought to sell the insurer to Chinese investors in 2016, including Anbang Insurance Group, but the deal fell through due to political tensions between Korea and China. MBK Partners, instead, debuted ING Life Insurance on the stock market last year.
Industry watchers say MBK Partners is trying to seal the deal before the ING brand usage expires this year.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)