Kyobo Life Joins Initial Bid for ING Life Korea

Kyobo Life Insurance, one of the big three life insurance companies in South Korea, has joined in the preliminary race to acquire ING Life Korea, the country’s fifth-largest insurance firm by assets.

Kyobo Life Insurance submitted a letter of investment (LOI) intent to Morgan Stanley, which manages the sale of ING Life.

It was not the first time that Kyobo Life has expressed intent to acquire ING Life.

About three years ago, the life insurer tried to buy ING Life Korea but it was private equity firm MBK Partners that acquired the insurer for W1.84 trillion (US$1.6 billion).

A Kyobo official said it will first conduct due diligence and then its board of directors will decided whether it will join in the actual auction.

Sources said only companies short-listed as preliminary bidders can conduct due diligence.

MBK is reportedly seeking to sell ING Life for about W3 trillion to W4 trillion. The insurer has about W30 trillion in assets. –