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Five firms in the fray to acquire Prudential Life Korea

Prudential Life Korea
Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Holdings is the sole foreign bidder while the remaining four are local financial firms

Five organisations are bidding to purchase Prudential Life Insurance of Korea, the South Korean life insurance subsidiary of the US-based insurance giant Prudential Financial Inc.

It is reported that Prudential Life has a net asset value of KRW3 trillion ($2.58billion), and recorded a KRW101.2 billion ($87.2m) operating turnover in the first half of last year, while it earned KRW220.4 billion in 2018.

According to a report published by The Korea Economic Daily, the organisations that are in the fray are four indigenous South Korean financial firms – KB Financial Group, MBK Partners, Hahn & Company, and IMM Private Equity. The transaction is expected to rake in about KRW2 trillion ($1.7 billion).

Out of the five bidders for Prudential Life Korea, KB Financial Group is the biggest challenger as it seeks to boost its non-banking units through expansion. In case the KB Life Insurance is able to successfully bid for Prudential Life, its ranking will be catapulted to fifth from the current 13th position. This will enable the firm to regain its crown as the largest financial entity in South Korea.

And, as far as the private equity firms are concerned, the organisation that stands out as a powerful force to be reckoned with is MBK Partners, which is a tested name in the buying and selling of insurance companies. The other two firms – IMM PE and Hahn & Company, of late, have evinced their desire to foray into the Korean life insurance sector and are exploring prospective transactions.

The sole overseas organisation that is involved in the bidding process is the Taiwan-based Fubon Financial Holdings. Through its existing operations of a Korean insurance company named Fubon Hyundai Life Insurance Co. Ltd., the firm has already established its presence in the country. Apart from this, it is also a strategic investor in Woori Financial Group, where it has a small stake.

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