The bid that had been made for ING’s business in that sector in Korea has now been removed.
Though ING Groep had received a bid on its Korean life insurance assets, that opportunity has now been lost as the sole buyer who had been involved in the deal has now withdrawn the offer that it had made.
KB Financial Group was the would be buyer of the business that ING held in that market of Korea.
Now, KB Financial, which is based in Seoul, has pulled out the bid that it had originally made, which was for $2.1 billion to take on the Korean life insurance business at ING. This is disappointing news to the large European insurer, which has been working hard to divest itself of much of its business in the Asia Pacific market.
The removal of the life insurance business purchase was decided at a board meeting.
KB Financial held a board meeting on Tuesday night, in which the directors spoke to the board and explained that they now felt that this life insurance business purchase would load the company with a risk that was simply too high. This was how the decision was explained to reporters when the company held a press conference to announce their change of heart.
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The sale of the Korean life insurance business represented one of the two remaining fragments of the Asian coverage assets held by ING. The insurer had placed these assets up for sale earlier this year. It has already made the sale of its units in Malaysia, Thailand, Macau, and Hong Kong. The company still has yet to make a deal on its operations within Japan.
Among the twelve directors who were in attendance of the Tuesday night board meeting, there were only five that had given their vote in favor of keeping the life insurance business purchase deal. This, according to someone who is familiar with the board. The remainder of the board either abstained from voting or vetoed the deal. In order to be able to move ahead with a deal of this nature, KB Financial would have required a minimum of seven votes in favor.