Five firms in the running to acquire Prudential Life Korea

Bidding heats up as US-based insurer looks to exit the market

Five firms in the running to acquire Prudential Life Korea

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Five companies are in the running to acquire Prudential Life Insurance Co. of Korea, the South Korean arm of US-based Prudential Financial Inc.

The companies are Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Holdings and four domestic financial firms – KB Financial Group, MBK Partners, Hahn & Company, and IMM Private Equity, according to a report by The Korea Economic Daily. The deal is expected to net around KRW2 trillion (US$1.7 billion).

Prudential Financial put its Korean life insurance operations up for sale in late 2019, as it seeks to trim down its overseas holdings, in anticipation of the new US accounting standard that will take effect in 2022, the report said. Goldman Sachs, which is in charge of the sale, is expected to shortlist the firms in the coming week.

Fubon, the only foreign-owned firm among the suitors, has an insurance joint venture in Korea, Fubon Hyundai Life Insurance Co., as well as a minority stake in Woori Financial Group.

According to the report, Prudential Life has a net asset value of KRW3 trillion (US$2.58 billion), and posted a KRW101.2 billion (US$87.2 million) operating profit in the first half of 2019. Its full-year 2018 profit was KRW220.4 billion.

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