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December 12, 2013updated 13 Apr 2017 8:37am

South Korea approves MBK Partners acquisition of ING insurance business

Private equity firm MBK Partners has received approval form South Korean financial regulators, for its proposed acquisition of ING local insurance business, in a transaction valued at KRW1.84trn ($1.75bn).

By Adam Falk

Following the completion of sale, the Dutch insurer will own an indirect stake of about 10% in ING Life Korea, while MBK will take full possession of the Korean operation, reported Reuters.

Additionally, ING has reached agreement with MBK that will allow ING Life Korea to continue to operate under the same brand for a maximum period of five years.

ING Group CEO Jan Hommen said that the transaction is a major step in the divestment of its Asian insurance and investment management activities.

"I am convinced that with the support of MBK Partners, ING Life Korea will continue to grow its customer offering and build on its position as the fifth-largest insurance company in the Korean market," Hommen added.

"Through its 10% stake, ING will be able to benefit from that growth potential."

Previously, three financial conglomerates including Kyobo Life Insurance Co, MBK Partners and Vogo Fund, which manages Tongyang Life Insurance Co, competed to acquire ING Life Korea.

The bank received a state bailout package during the financial crisis of 2008 and agreed with the Dutch government to dispose of all of its Asian insurance businesses.

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