Five companies have submitted preliminary bids for Prudential Life, Korea’s 11th largest life insurer by assets, according to investment banking sources.
They include KB Financial Group, Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Group, and Korea’s three private equity majors – Hahn & Company, IMM Private Equity and MBK Partners. Woori Financial Group and Hana Financial Group did not join the bid contrary to expectations, reported Pulse News.
Among the five, KB Financial Group has emerged as the strongest contender, though the possibility is still open for a later entry by Woori Financial Group.The sale of a 100% stake in Prudential Life, estimated to cost at least KRW2tn ($1.72bn), is being led by Goldman Sachs. A shortlist will be decided on and the final bid is to take place mid-February. US-based Prudential Financial put the South Korean insurance arm on the market in late 2019 as part of efforts to slim down overseas assets.If Prudential Life is combined with KB Life Insurance, which stands 13th domestically by assets, the enlarged entity will rank fifth biggest.