Three Chinese companies have moved forward in their pursuitto acquire ING Life InsuranceKorea Ltd. from MBKPartners Ltd., The KoreaHerald reported July 20, citing sources.
China's JDCapital Co. Ltd., FosunInternational Ltd. and TaipingLife Insurance Co. Ltd. are in talks or conductingdue diligence to potentially purchase the South Korean insurer, the sourcessaid.
An official at a public relations agency for MBK Partnerstold S&P Global Market Intelligence that the report was incorrect anddeclined to elaborate further as talks are still ongoing.
Prior reports identifiedFosun International as being among the Chinese companies that could potentiallybid on ING Life Insurance Korea, while JD Capital took part in preliminarybidding for the insurer. Recently, a person with direct knowledge of the mattertold S&P Global Market Intelligence that Taiping Life's parent company,China Taiping Insurance GroupLtd., had also placeda preliminary bid.
In May, JD Capital completedthe acquisition of Ageas SA/NV'sHong Kong life insurance unit, AgeasInsurance Co. (Asia) Ltd.
MBK Partners intends to sell ING Life Insurance Korea by theend of 2016, with the final bidding process starting in September. ING LifeInsurance Korea, which posted a net profit of 304.8 billion won in 2015, may bevalued at up to 3 trillion won, the publication reported.
The interest in ING Life Insurance Korea from Chinesecompanies follows the acquisitionby China's Anbang Insurance GroupCo. of two South Korean insurers,TONGYANG Life Insurance Co. Ltd.and Allianz Life Insurance Co.Ltd.
As of July 20, US$1was equivalent to 1,141.58 South Korean won.