The state-run Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. (KDIC) has signed a deal with seven different investors, finalizing the sale of a 30% government stake in Woori Bank. The deal’s combined value is estimated to be worth KRW2.4 trillion (US$2 billion).
IMM Private Equity has purchased a 6% stake in Woori, while Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. bought 3.7%. Hanwha Life, Tongyang Life Insurance Co. (owned by China's Anbang Insurance Group), Eugene Asset Management Co., Korea Investment & Securities Co., and Kiwoom Securities Co. will each have a 4% stake.
The South Korean government had a 51% stake in Woori Bank through the KDIC, after it bailed out the bank due to the effects of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The government injected KRW12.8 trillion (US$10.66 billion) to keep the bank afloat.
Gwak Bum-gook, head of the KDIC, said he was determined to sell the government’s remaining 21.4% stake in Woori Bank.
“I will push for the sale in consultation with the seven major shareholders,” Gwak told the Yonhap News Agency
after a signing ceremony held at the KDIC’s Seoul headquarters. He did not give any specific time frame for the sale.
The government’s four previous attempts to privatize Woori Bank had failed.
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