MBK Partners in exclusive talks for ING's South Korean unit: report

SEOUL Sun Aug 4, 2013 7:53pm EDT

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Private equity firm MBK Partners is in exclusive talks to buy ING Groep's (ING.AS) South Korean insurance unit for 1.8 trillion won ($1.6 billion), South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Monday, citing sources in the insurance industry.

ING's South Korean unit attracted a total of four bids in May, including that of Tong Yang Life Insurance Co Ltd (082640.KS), Hanwha Life Insurance Co Ltd (088350.KS) and Kyobo Life Insurance Co Ltd KYOBO.UL, sources previously told Reuters.

The sale of its Korea insurance unit would bring ING closer to fulfilling its agreement with European regulators to sell more than 50 percent of its Asian operations by the end of 2013.

Representatives for MBK and ING could not be immediately reached for comment. ($1 = 1123.6250 Korean won)

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by John Mair)

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