August 8, 2012 / 10:06 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Affinity, GIC, others in $1.1 bln S.Korea Kyobo Life stake buy

* Daewoo to sell Kyobo Life stake for 245,000 won per share

* Affinity, GIC, Baring Private Equity and IMM to buy Kyobo Life stake-sources

* Affinity to take largest portion at close to 10 pct-source

By Joyce Lee and Stephen Aldred

SEOUL/HONG KONG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - A group of investors that includes private equity fund Affinity Equity is buying a $1.1 billion stake in South Korea’s unlisted Kyobo Life Insurance from Daewoo International Corp, in what would be the second-largest private equity backed deal in Asia ex-Japan this year.

Daewoo said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell its 24 percent stake for 1.2 trillion won ($1.06 billion), or 245,000 won per share.

Daewoo, part of the POSCO Group, had put its stake on the block as part of a move to sell non-core assets. It did not disclose in the filing who were the buyers of the stake.

The Daewoo-Affinity deal comes two months after South Korean state-owned Korea Asset Management Corp (KAMCO) sold a near 10 percent stake in Kyobo Life to Ontario Teachers Pension Plan for 468 billion won ($414 million), or 230,000 won per share.

A Daewoo spokesman confirmed Affinity as one of the buyers, but did not disclose the names of the other investors. Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters last week the other buyers would be the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), Baring Private Equity Asia and South Korea’s IMM Private Equity.

Affinity is set to take the largest portion with close to 10 percent of the 24 percent stake, with the others buying stakes close to 5 percent each, one of the sources told Reuters.

The bid is not a consortium bid, as under local laws a foreign entity cannot own more than a one-tenth stake of a South Korean insurer without regulatory approval.

Daewoo accepted final bids in May for its stake in Kyobo Life. Affinity, IMM and GIC declined to comment. Baring could not be reached for immediate comment.

Macquarie and Woori Investment & Securities are co-managers for the deal. ($1 = 1128.8500 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee in SEOUL and Stephen Aldred in HONG KONG; Editing by Denny Thomas and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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