Metlife dropped from ING Asia life insurance sale-source
HONG KONG, June 1 |
HONG KONG, June 1 (Reuters) - Metlife Inc has failed to move to the second round of bidding for the roughly $7 billion auction of ING's Asia life insurance division, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, after its offer was deemed too low.
Metlife, with a market value of about $31 billion, was seen as a strong contender to buy the entire ING Asia life division, sources have said.
Prudential Financial Inc., worth $21.8 billion, also viewed as a possible buyer, bowed out of the process earlier last month, the sources said.
Several major insurance companies remain in the auction, as previously reported by Reuters.
But with markets falling across the globe, and two large buyers out of the auction, the prospect of ING and its advisers making adjustments to the process has increased, the sources said.
One possibility under consideration is ING breaking up the auction into three distinct regions of Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, they said, rather than one collective group.
That would complicate the sale but would allow smaller, more nimble bidders to court parts of the business rather than the whole.
ING, Metlife and Prudential Financial were not immediately available for comment.
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