At least two major Chinese insurers are reportedly bidding for the sale of ING Life Insurance Korea, a potential record transaction that could be valued at US$3bn.
Insurance and China Taiping Insurance have expressed initial interest in acquiring the South Korean firm, which is the fifth largest life insurer in the country, Reuters
reported, citing unnamed sources.
The sources told Reuters
that there was still some gap between the selling price eyed by ING Life owner MBK Partners and the amount being offered by the Chinese players.
According to the report, the bids range from US$1.7 billion to US$2.5 billion. If a deal of such value would be closed, it will be the biggest insurance takeover in South Korea.
Local insurer Kyobo Life Insurance also made an initial bid for ING Life, but it was rejected by MBK Partners, the report added.
In 2013, MBK acquired the Korean life insurance arm of Dutch insurer ING Groep for US$1.51 billion and agreed to use the ING brand for five years.
ING Life currently has US$25.2bn in assets and had a book value of US$3.5bn at the end of 2015.