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‘Prudential Financial weighing sale of South Korean unit’
Posted on Thursday, 28 November 2019 12:42
Prudential Financial, the US-based life insurance provider, is exploring a possible disposal of its operations in South Korea that could be worth KRW 2,000 billion (USD 1.70 billion), according to recent media reports.

Reuters cited the Korea Economic Daily, whose website is currently under construction, as saying some of the country’s biggest firms including KB Financial Group and Woori Financial Group, as well as private equity groups, are said to be interested in the assets.

Multiple industry sources told Pulse News that Prudential Financial has hired Goldman Sachs to work on the sale, which owns the Korean unit through Prudential International Insurance Holdings.

The company is a financial wellness leader and activist global investment manager with more than USD 1,000 billion of assets under management as of 30th September 2019.

Prudential Financial generated total adjusted operating income before taxes of USD 4.91 billion in the nine months to the same date, a slight decrease from USD 5.05 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

The group’s international insurance division recorded adjusted operating income before taxes of USD 2.56 billion, accounting for 52.1 per cent of the total amount.

A sale of the South Korean operations comes one month after Prudential Financial acquired Assurance IQ, a US-based direct-to-consumer personalised health and financial wellness platform, for USD 3.50 billion.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows that if a sale of the South Korean unit goes ahead, it would be the second-largest of the 2,432 deals to target a company based in the country announced in 2019 to date.

In the biggest of these, Hyundai Heavy Industries agreed to acquire a 55.7 per cent holding in Daewoo Shipbuilding&Marine Engineering for KRW 2.09 billion.

Other targets have included Hyundai Oilbank, Hanon Systems EFP, Linde Korea and Lotte Card.

© Zephus Ltd