ING announced on Monday an agreement to sell ING Life Korea, the company’s wholly owned life insurance business, to MBK Partners for approximately $1.65 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, ING will hold an indirect stake of approximately 10 percent of ING Life Korea for $107.4 million. ING Life Korea will continue to operate under the ING brand for up to five years, and over the next year, ING will continue to provide support to ING Life Korea.
“This transaction is a major step in the divestment of our Asian insurance and investment management activities,” ING Group CEO Jan Hommen said. “Together with the scheduled payment of the next tranche of the core Tier 1 securities to the Dutch State in November, this will bring us further into the end phase of the restructuring of our company. 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. Through its 10 percent stake, ING will be able to benefit from that growth potential.”
Since 2009, ING has sought to divest its insurance businesses through the sale of operations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America, as well as a large portion of its insurance and investment management activities in Asia.
In May, the company’s stake in its U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance business fell to 71 percent after the operation was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. ING has taken steps to prepare for its initial public offering of its European insurance and investment management operations set to go to market next year.