(Changes sourcing, adds details of negotiation, Tong Yang share
SEOUL Aug 5 Private equity firm MBK Partners is
in exclusive talks to buy a controlling stake in ING Groep's
South Korean insurance unit, a source briefed on the
matter said on Monday.
ING's South Korean unit attracted a total of four bids in
May, including from Tong Yang Life Insurance Co Ltd,
Hanwha Life Insurance Co Ltd and Kyobo Life
Insurance Co Ltd, sources previously told Reuters.
ING and MBK will start negotiations based on MBK's original
bid of about 1.5 to 1.6 trillion won ($1.3-1.4 billion) for a 90
percent stake in the unit, but the final pricing and stake size
could change, the first source said.
A spokesman for MBK declined to comment. A representative
for ING could not be reached immediately for comment.
Shares in Tong Yang Life plunged 13.7 percent as of 0048 GMT
as Yonhap news agency and other South Korean media reported
before local trading began on Monday that MBK replaced Tong Yang
Life's consortium as the party in exclusive talks for the ING
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.
($1 = 1123.6250 Korean won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Gallagher)