Richard Li, Hong Kong tycoon, has acquired three units of ING for $2.1 billion
Younger son of the richest man in Asia, and businessman in his own right, Richard Li, is making international insurance news by purchasing three the coverage units of ING Hong Kong, Thailand, and Macau, in a cash acquisition of $2.14 billion in cash.
The Dutch financial services firm has now advanced significantly toward paying off its bailout.
ING has been taking dramatic steps in order to try to pay back its state bailout funds, and the sale of its three units will launch it forward and much closer to its goal. The international insurance bid made by Li was done through the unlisted Pacific Century Group, and is the first of his steps back into an industry in which he has not played a role since 2007.
Li hopes it will broaden his business empire by bringing him back into the international insurance scene.
Beyond international insurance efforts, Li is also involved in media, telecoms, and funds management. The purchase represents a payment of 24.3 times more than the earnings that the three ING units brought in during 2012. The acquisition must still undergo regulatory approval processes, but it is believed that it will close within the first quarter of next year, says an ING statement.
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ING has been making regular international insurance news as it sloughs away a number of its assets worldwide so that it can repay the state bailout of €10 billion ($13.1 billion) from the financial crisis in 2008. It made the announcement that it would be selling its insurance business in Malaysia, last week, when it was purchased by AIA Group Ltd. for a total of $1.73 in cash. This was the first of deal that was made in a full nine month period in which the company has been attempting to divest itself of its Asian investment management and coverage assets.
In that last international insurance deal, AIA Group paid 14.3 times the amount that the Malaysian business earned in 2011. ING has now raised a total of $3.87 in its overall exit plan from Asia.